PARIS-- During an unauthorized protest organized by school students on Thursday to denounce police mistreatment, violent clashes erupted at Nation Square in east Paris where riot police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of youth who hurled projectiles and vandalized property.
Between 800 and 1,000 school students took part in the rally to express solidarity with Theo, a 22-year-old black man who had allegedly been a victim of police violence and rape.
In the last street protest against police violence, youth blocked access to 12 schools in Paris after they piled up rubbish bins at the entrance gates.
A group of masked demonstrators hurled projectiles and vandalized two supermarkets and a bank, according to local reports.
A deputy school director was injured when protesters hurled a fire extinguisher. Forty people were arrested and placed in police custody, news channel BFMT said.
Speaking to Public Senat television, education minister Najat-Vallaud Belkacem called "for calm because excesses like this violence and blocking entrances to places are not acceptable."
"The state will show considerable firmness," she added.
On Feb. 2, violence erupted in Aulnay-sous-Bois north Paris where four police officers were accused of using unnecessary force while arresting a black man young man and raping him.
The incident ignited riots in the suburbs of the French capital where violent riots in 2005 forced Nicolas Sarkozy, then interior minister, to declare a state of emergency.
The four police officers have been suspended and placed under formal investigation for suspected rape and excessive violence. (PNA/Xinhua)
Source: Philippines News Agency