Police and residents clash over heavy-handed lockdown enforcement in Paris suburbs

Issued on: 20/04/2020 – 17:50Modified: 20/04/2020 – 17:52

Police fought running battles in at least five suburbs of Paris overnight with residents who accused officers of using heavy-handed tactics to enforce France's strict coronavirus lockdown.


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Residents burnt cars and shot fireworks at police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas in the northern suburbs of Villeneuve-la-Garenne and Aulnay-sous-Bois, witnesses and police said on Monday.

The violence began on Saturday when a motorcyclist was injured during a police check in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, prompting a crowd to gather.

A police statement said the group targeted officers with "projectiles" in a near two-hour standoff.

The motorcyclist crashed into the open door of an unmarked police car and required surgery for a broken leg.

Residents allege the door was opened deliberately as the rider was approaching it at high speed so that he would smash into it.

The 30-year-old will lodge a complaint against the officers, his family and a lawyer told AFP, while prosecutors have opened an investigation.

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By Monday morning, calm had returned to Villeneuve-la-Garenne after a second night of standoffs with police, according to an AFP journalist.

There were also standoffs in nearby Aulnay-sous-Bois, where police claimed they were "ambushed" by residents in a district oRead More – Source

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