Protests, riots continue after Paris police accused of raping 22-year-old black man with baton

A French riot police officer secures the area during a protest in Bobigny, a district of northeast Paris, to denounce police brutality after a black man was allegedly sodomised with a baton during an arrest while in their custody in Paris on February 11, 2
Source: PATRICK KOVARIK/Getty Images
A French riot police officer secures the area during a protest in Bobigny, a district of northeast Paris, to denounce police brutality after a black man was allegedly sodomised with a baton during an arrest while in their custody in Paris on February 11, 2
Source: PATRICK KOVARIK/Getty Images

Days of both peaceful protests and rioting have rocked metropolitan Paris after a group of officers allegedly beat and sodomized a 22-year-old black man with a police baton. 

The man, only identified as Theo, told BBC he was leaving his house in the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois when he was stopped by police doing identity checks that are believed to target drug dealers. During the stop, officers are said to have beaten and penetrated the man with the baton, leaving him with anal injuries severe enough to require hospitalization and surgery. Authorities subsequently charged three officers with assault and one with rape.

Police officials have insisted the incident was a bizarre accident, according to AFP, saying officers were "applying a truncheon blow horizontally across the buttocks" and "there are insufficient elements to show that this was a rape."

According to AFP, French President Francois Hollande visited Theo in the hospital personally to express "solidarity."

Protests continued well into Saturday evening, according to Le Parisien.

In another incident last year, black Frenchman Adama Traoré was found dead of asphyxiation in a police courtyard in Beaumont-sur-Oise, sparking weeks of protests and riots.

The incident comes as French authorities are under fire for widespread allegations of misconduct.

A recent report in the Independent found rampant abuse of power by Parisian police while dealing with refugees, who are "beaten and tear gassed by officers in the French capital, despite government pledges to shelter vulnerable people." The Independent spoke with homeless refugees who not only had blankets seized in freezing temperatures and property randomly stolen, but also had been assaulted by police officers and had their settlements forcibly dispersed.

French fire fighters extinguish flames during a protest in Bobigny, a district of northeast Paris, to denounce police brutality after a black man was allegedly sodomized with a baton while in their custody.
Source: PATRICK KOVARIK/Getty Images
French fire fighters extinguish flames during a protest in Bobigny, a district of northeast Paris, to denounce police brutality after a black man was allegedly sodomized with a baton while in their custody.
Source: PATRICK KOVARIK/Getty Images
A destroyed vehicle burns during a protest in Bobigny, a district of northeast Paris, to denounce police brutality after a black man was allegedly sodomized with a baton while in police custody.
Source: PATRICK KOVARIK/Getty Images

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

NFL players donate $20,000 to youth football team that was punished for national anthem protest

"We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it's OK to stand up for what you believe in," Malcolm Jenkins said.

10 things you might have recently missed in the movement for social justice

From Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen to acquittals and vigils, the last few days haven't been easy to keep up with.

Judge declares mistrial in retrial of officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose

The jury spent five days deliberating Ray Tensing's fate.

University of Missouri to revoke Bill Cosby's honorary degree

The president of Mizzou said Cosby's actions were not in line with the university's core beliefs.