Paris, February 20: Thousands of protestors gathered at the place de la Republique in Paris on Saturday and demonstrated against French police officers who allegedly raped a young black man named Theo in a town north-east of the capital earlier this month. The situation day by day is deteriorating in Paris as the protests are erupting in a very big manner and may further lead to the kind of civil war.
An estimated 2300 protestors in small groups broke away and hurled rocks at helmeted riot police, who deflected most of them with their shields. In this riot, one officer was injured but was not believed to have been seriously hurt. More than 250 people have been arrested in almost nightly unrest in the poverty-stricken suburbs.
Demonstrators carried banners reading "Justice for Theo," and called for justice in the investigation. The protesters argue that Theo is just one example of many young men unfairly targeted by police in ID checks and sometimes abused. Anti-racism groups are calling for a change in policing policy and the creation of police units specifically assigned to troubled neighbourhoods who can improve relations with local communities.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate Marine Le Pen called for the demonstrations to be banned, claiming that they would give rise to slogans insulting to the police and the nation and posed a threat to public order. Pointing out that the state of emergency declared after the November 2015 Paris attacks are still in place, she declared it "incomprehensible that the government has not taken the necessary measures".
"They must put a stop to the ultraviolent, extreme-left militias to which the government shows a great indulgence," she said in a statement on Saturday. "It would also be the occasion to stop the chanting of vile slogans insulting the whole police force and insulting France."
In the way, this protest has erupted and in the manner, it is increasing day by day, it can cause a threat to national security of the country. Therefore, Le Pen slammed Hollande's handling of Paris riots and said the Government has been quick to "rush to the bedside of the very few victims of police violence without even waiting for justice" but unable to quash the risk of a "real civil war" on the streets of Paris.
Notably, a 22-year-old youth worker was left in hospital for two weeks after the attack in his hometown of Aulnay-sous-Bois, north-east of Paris. He has become a symbol for minorities who stand up to police violence. Four police officers have been charged in connection with the case, but deny intentional wrongdoing.