The Paris suburb of Argenteuil saw violent scenes and arrests as dozens of people took to streets to protest police brutality, as the “accidental” sexual assault of a 22-year-old man by a police officer continued to rile up French youth.
Some 50 young people gathered at Maurice Utrillo avenue in the center of Argenteuil on Sunday evening, Le Parisien reported.
The gathering was reportedly called via Facebook, with the alleged intention to copycat the November 2005 riots. Dubbed “the French Intifada,” the mass violent riots at the time were triggered by the death of two teenagers with immigrant background, who got electrocuted while hiding from police allegedly chasing them for interrogation in an eastern Paris suburb.
Witnesses reported that the young people in Argenteuil were armed with iron bars and started lighting fires. Thick smoke soon covered the scene.
A BFM-TV journalist has been reportedly assaulted while covering the protests.
— Pierre Sautarel (@FrDesouche) February 12, 2017
At least two cars were set on fire, as well as a number of garbage bins.
A bus driver was hospitalized with a head injury, according to Le Parisien. A bus stop and a bus were stoned, according to the mayor’s office.