Protests have been sparked over multiple days in Paris and surrounding towns after a Black man was arrested, beaten and raped by four police officers.
The 22-year-old only identified as Théo recounted the exchange to local media.
CNN reports that he was stopped at a housing estate in the northern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois during an identity check.
I saw one of them take his baton and stick it into my bum. As soon as he did that, I fell on my belly. I felt weak. It was as if my body had given up on me. Then, they handcuffed me.”
The incident occurred on February 2 and all four of the officers involved were charged with aggravated assault and one was also charged with rape. Théo reportedly suffered major head trauma and have to undergo surgery due to a severe anal injury.
Racial tensions in the suburb where Théo was attacked have reportedly risen after a history of unrest, with protests and destruction of property occurring on multiple instances. Local and police officials have come out to condemn the protests, including Théo himself.
“I call to calm my city because I love it very much,” Théo said from his hospital bed. “Violence is not the way to support me. Justice will do its job.”
The young man clearly has more faith in the justice department than many other people in the area do.
Very similar to protests that occurred in the United States, the violence of a handful of individuals is being used to tarnish the demands of justice made by the hundreds of people who marched and chanted in Théo’s honor.
The crime that was committed against him was heinous and should be punished. Fortunately, the story has now become global and those responsible are more likely to be held accountable.