PARIS (Sputnik) – Paris police on Tuesday evening detained 18 people participating in an unauthorized protest against racism and police brutality, media reported on Wednesday, citing the police.
According to the RMC broadcaster, the police did not disclose the reason for the detentions.
Reports emerged on Tuesday that more than 19,000 people took to the streets in Paris in protest against police violence that was believed by many to be the cause of the 2016 death of black Frenchman Adama Traore in custody. The city authorities banned the rally over health concerns and fear it might lead to unrest.
A Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene that the protest was initially peaceful, but later turned violent and resulted in clashes with police. The law enforcement authorities were forced to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Traore, a 24-year old Frenchman of Malian origin, died in police custody four years ago. The circumstances of his death are still to be established and the police have said that it was caused by a medical condition that he had. Moreover, some medical experts have said he died due to a cardiac condition. However, an independent expert commissioned by Traore’s family showed last week that his death had been caused by asphyxiation.
The protest in Paris comes amid large-scale riots in the United States caused by the death of African American man George Floyd in police custody in late May. Video footage of his detention, which has been circulating online, showed Floyd saying he could not breathe as a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes. A county examiner in the US state of Minnesota in a medical report ruled that Floyd’s death was a homicide.
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