Two Day Riots Erupt in Paris After Police Sodomize Black Man [Video]

theo-protest
theo-protest

Riots have erupted in Paris, France on Wednesday night after throngs of youth went on a rampage in five Parisian suburbs in protest against the alleged beating and rape of a 22-year-old black man with a police baton.

The riots began on Tuesday in response to the Feb. 2 assault on a 22-year-old man identified by authorities only as Theo in Aulnay-sous-Bois, who is said to have been sodomized with a police officer’s baton during an identity check.

Four police officers have been suspended, one was charged with aggravated rape and three were charged with aggravated assault, according to local authorities. Police said Theo suffered head trauma and underwent surgery for a severe anal injury.

The incident revived tensions in the poor suburban neighborhood where police-related deaths have sparked civil unrest in recent years.

“People from the suburbs feel they are second-class citizens, that they are the forgotten children of the Republic,” said Fouad Ben Ahmed, a community activist in Bondy, northeast of Paris. “They are angry.”

Ben Ahmed strongly condemned the rioting, but said what happened to Theo was “abominable.”

“It’s plain inconceivable to imagine that anyone would endure such things,” he said. “That (the police) could think they would get away with it in total impunity. This only happens in the worst dictatorships.”

Theo, who has no police record, told French broadcaster BFMTV: “I saw him with his baton. He rammed it into my buttocks on purpose. I fell onto my stomach. I had no strength left.”

Theo urged the rioters to “stop the war and stay united,” adding that he had faith in the justice system.

French President François Hollande visited the young man in the hospital Tuesday and stayed at his bedside for a half-hour.

“We must have trust in the justice system, that the process will be thorough. Decisions have already been made in order for the truth to come out,” Hollande said during the visit.

Police union leader Yves Lefebvre said the riots were unacceptable.

“There is an investigation underway,” he said. “My colleagues — just as any other citizen — must benefit from the presumption of innocence. These youths want to take advantage of this affair to fight against the police. That’s profoundly damaging. When you set alight a police station it’s a bid to undermine the dignity of the police and attempt to directly — or indirectly — kill them.”

Tension over policing in France has become more of a serious political issue in wake of the presidential election that is less than three months away.

Source: USAToday