Tens of thousands of people have marched in France to protest against police violence, with clashes breaking out on the margins of a rally organised in the capital, Paris.
Saturday’s nationwide protests came within three months after the point-blank-range killing by a policeman of a teen at a traffic check sparked more than a week of rioting across the country.
In Paris, demonstrators of all ages held placards proclaiming “Stop state violence”, “Don’t forgive or forget” or “The law kills”.
Demonstrators took aim at article 435-1 of the internal security code, introduced in 2017, which extends authorities’ leeway to shoot in the event of a suspect’s refusal to comply.
Unions said some 80,000 people joined the protests across France, including 15,000 in Paris, but the Interior Ministry put the number at 31,300 nationwide and 9,000 in Paris.
The government denounced “unacceptable violence” on the margins of the march in Paris after officers were trapped in their police vehicle when it was attacked.
Hundreds of hooded people wearing black broke away from the main march of several thousand people in Paris. They smashed the windows of a bank branch and threw objects at a police car stuck in traffic.
Paris police said the car was attacked with a crowbar and that anti-riot officers were forced to intervene.
Among those marching in the northern city of Lille was 27-year-old Mohamed Leknoun, whose brother Amine was killed in August 2022 after refusing to obey police orders.
He deplored the fact that he had not been informed of any progress in the investigation since the police officer who fired the fatal shot was indicted.