French rapper robbed as video 'provokes riot' near Lyon

French rapper robbed as video 'provokes riot' near Lyon
Copyright  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
By Alasdair Sandford

Yamine L'artiste (YL) lost his phone and bank card and ended up in custody after his attempt to film a video brought violent scenes near Lyon.

A French rapper who filmed an unauthorised video in a high-rise housing estate near Lyon ended up being robbed amid a near-riot, arrested, and spending the night in custody.

Yamine L’artiste, known as YL, attracted a large crowd when he tried to film on the Minguettes estate at Vénissieux on Tuesday afternoon, without permission from the authorities.

As traffic and public transport ground to a halt, police intervened and YL was arrested as he tried to leave the area by car. Amid the melee, he reportedly stumbled and was relieved of his phone and bank card by someone among the throng.

Eleven people, including members of the rapper’s entourage, were detained and taken into custody, according to the Lyon newspaper Le Progrès.

A group estimated at 200-strong and made up mainly of teenagers was reportedly involved in the violent scenes that erupted. Sixty customers at a local supermarket were evacuated by security staff who hurriedly put down the shutters as the premises were attacked by the crowd, causing damage put at €40,000.

The Minguettes estate was the scene of similar trouble twice last year when Marseille rappers Elams and Naps came to film in the area, publicising their act on social media but without referring to the authorities as required by law.

Last month two of France’s biggest rap stars, Booba and Kaaris, were ordered to spend a month in custody after a brawl delayed flights and forced one of Paris’ main airports at Orly to partially shut down.

The Minguettes — traditionally a district housing a large immigrant population — was renowned as the birthplace of the “Marche des Beurs” in 1983 when thousands marched on Paris in a famous protest against racism.

In recent years the estate has undergone a radical facelift and renovation programme, with the destruction of many high-rise blocks and the construction of a new tram line connecting the area to the city of Lyon. However, an estimated 40% of young people remain unemployed.