21 May, 2020 by https://www.rt.com/
Paris riot police faced off against irate protestors in the suburb of Argenteuil amid a fourth night of violence following the death of 18-year-old Sabri Choubi in a motorbike accident at the weekend.
Residents blame police for the young man’s death, but authorities have repeatedly denied involvement in the crash which took his life, claiming that a police vehicle in the area at the time was not chasing Choubi.
Regardless, the banlieues – high-rise, low-income areas of the city – continue to burn as the community vents its anger at the second high-profile biker accident in the area in the space of a month.
Police conducted stop and search operations throughout the banlieues while being bombarded with fireworks, while protestors in the nearby neighborhood of Bezons lit fires in the streets.
Over a dozen arrests have been made amid the unrest since Choubi’s death in the early hours of Sunday morning, while at least three police officers have been injured in the violence.
Frederic Lagache, the general delegate of the Alliance Nationale police union, said there was “no chase or attempted stop” of Choubi, and that the police in the area had “nothing to do with” the young man’s untimely death.
Choubi’s associates, meanwhile, have denounced the authorities’ framing of the situation.
“We never said that there was a crash with a BAC [police unit] car… Just that they brought him down. The truth must come out,” an unnamed associate of Choubi said, as cited by Le Parisien.
A procession in Choubi’s honour will be held on Thursday afternoon, beginning just a few hundred meters from the scene of the accident and finishing outside the man’s childhood home. The wearing of masks is reportedly compulsory during the procession, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to pay tribute to him in the most beautiful way,” his father Khalid Chouhbi said. He also called for calm in the area when asked about the violence over his son’s death.