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French police face racism allegations over Paris arrest

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By Anelise Borges
French police face racism allegations over Paris arrest
Copyright  Euronews

France's interior minister has vowed to carry out an investigation into allegations police officers racially abused a man during an arrest in a deprived Parisian suburb on Sunday morning.

Christophe Castaner said there was no place for racism in the police after a video released on social media showed officers making fun of a man who had jumped into the River Seine to avoid arrest.

The video, posted by journalist and activist Taha Bouhafs, appears to show police officers using derogatory language, with one saying they should have attached stones to the man's feet.

Lanna Hollo of the Open Society Justice Initiative says that the problem of racism is engrained in the French police force and that disciplinary measures taken are insufficient.

"The problem is that there is virtual police impunity. These types of incidents are very rarely investigated," she told Euronews journalist Anelise Borges. 

"There is also a larger problem of denial by the police hierarchy, by the Ministry of Interior and to the extent that there's denial there's obviously no adequate measures being put in place.

Watch the interview with Lanna Hollo in the video player above.