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France: Police use tear gas against racial injustice protesters as Floyd outrage goes global

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Protesters react during a demonstration Tuesday, June 2, 2020 in Paris.
Protesters react during a demonstration Tuesday, June 2, 2020 in Paris.   -   Copyright  Michel Euler/AP Photo
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Police fired tear gas on protesters in Paris during an unauthorised demonstration against racial injustice and police violence.

The protest began peacefully on Tuesday evening at a courthouse in Paris, as thousands gathered amidst global outrage over the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Floyd died last week after a police officer pressed his knee into the 46-year-old man's neck for several minutes despite his cries of distress.

Protests against racism and police violence have spread throughout US cities in the past week and recently have come to several European countries including the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Protests in France also demanded justice for Adama Traoré, a French black man who died in police custody in 2016. Protesters in Paris threw projectiles and lit small fires.

Michel Euler/AP Photo
Thousands of people defied a police ban and converged on the main Paris courthouse for a demonstration to show solidarity with U.S. protestersMichel Euler/AP Photo

Tensions escalated at a similar protest in Marseille and several hundred people who gathered in Lyon were dispersed by tear gas, according to a protester present at the event.

The French government has banned gatherings of more than ten people due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Protests have escalated worldwide in solidarity with US demonstrators.

The European Union's top foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU was "shocked and appalled" by the death of Floyd.

Europeans “support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions," he added.

More protests in various countries are planned later in the week, including a string of demonstrations in front of U.S. embassies on Saturday.

Social media also went black throughout the world as people posted black boxes in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.