Paris clashes over police killing of Chinese man; 3 injured

AP , Tuesday 28 Mar 2017

France-China clash
Demonstrators from the Asian community face riot police officers outside Paris' 19th district's police station, Tuesday March 28, 2017 (Photo: AP)

Violent clashes in Paris between baton-wielding police and protesters outraged at the police killing of a Chinese man in his home have seen three police officers injured and 35 protesters arrested, authorities said Tuesday.

Demonstrators, who were from the Asian community, gathered Monday night outside the multicultural 19th district's police station in the northeast of the French capital, said Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, of the Paris Prosecutor's Office.

The crowds of protesters gathered in homage to a Chinese man killed Sunday by a police officer, angry at reports that he was shot in his home in front of his children while he was cutting up fish and didn't attack. Police say the officer fired in self-defense during a raid because the victim, whom Chinese media say is Chinese, wounded an officer with a "bladed weapon."

China's Foreign Ministry expressed concern to French authorities on Tuesday over the killing of the man — shot, it said, by plainclothes officers.

With chants of "murderers" and candles that spelled "opposition to violence" lining the road Monday night, scores of demonstrators broke down barricades, threw projectiles and set fire to a car during the brutal clashes with myriad police that lasted several hours.

A parked car was set on fire, with firefighters rushing to extinguish the blaze.

Authorities said that 26 demonstrators were held for participating in a group planning violence, six for throwing projectiles, and three others for violence against police that saw a police car damaged by arson.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency said that, according to witnesses, one man of Chinese origin was injured in the clashes.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China had summoned a representative of the French embassy in Beijing Tuesday and urged French officials to "get to the bottom of the incident as soon as possible."

Hua said Chinese authorities "hope that Chinese nationals in France can express their wishes and demands in a reasonable way."

France's ethnic Chinese community, one of Europe's largest, says it has long been a target for racism. Last September, crowds of thousands rallied in the French capital to urge an end to violence against the Asian community, after the beating to death of Chinese tailor Chaolin Zhangh called new attention to ethnic tensions in Paris suburbs.

The victim's lawyer said the August 2016 attack was ethnically motivated, and the area's Chinese immigrant community says it is routinely targeted by armed robbers and violence.

The latest tensions come just days after thousands marched in Paris in a show of anger over the alleged rape in February of a young black man by police. The alleged police sodomizing of Theo in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois turned the 22-year-old into a symbol for minorities standing up to police violence.

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