Violence erupted around certain Paris suburbs over the weekend, after allegations of heavy-handed treatment of ethnic minorities by police during lockdown.
The violence was sparked by a motorcycle accident in the northern suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne on Saturday night, in which a man racing through a street collided with an unmarked police car. Witnesses say that someone inside the car suddenly opened the door in the bike’s way, causing the motorbike to lose control and crash into a pole. The rider, said to be of Muslim origin and ‘known to the police’, is allegedly in a critical condition in hospital.
The incident quickly turned violent as passersby hurled projectiles at the police car. Violence continued throughout the night and riots soon spread to other French towns and continued into Sunday night.
In a separate incident, French police officers are facing legal action after the suspicious death of a father of three in the southern town of Beziers. It is understood that the man died in unexplained circumstances after being arrested for breaking the curfew.
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