Riots swelled in Paris for a third night, with hundreds of people protesting against police brutality and the recent killing of a Chinese man, Shaoyo Liu, on March 23 by police.
Riot police hurled tear gas at the crowd as demonstrations Wednesday night saw a police car firebombed, three officers injured and 35 people arrested.
Liu was killed by police Sunday in an incident where authorities allege that officers were called to his home due to a domestic dispute. The police officers claim that when they opened the door Liu rushed at them with a pair of scissors, stabbing one of them before being shot dead by the other.
But his family disputes the account, saying that there was no dispute, and that police broke down the door and shot him without warning. They also said he was holding the pair of scissors because he had been gutting fish for dinner.
“There was no dispute at all,” said Calvin Job, the family’s lawyer, as reported by The Times. “The police forced open the door, which threw (him) backwards. He did not rush at the officers. They shot him without warning. It’s very worrying.”
Liu’s death has also sparked a diplomatic row with Beijing, with China’s Foreign Ministry lodging an official complaint, urging the authorities to protect the “rights and security” of Chinese citizens.
His death comes a month after France’s President Francois Hollande amended the law to make it easier for policemen to use guns — from only in circumstances where their life is at risk, as before, to where they can now shoot to prevent a suspect from escaping arrest, or when someone “presents a threat.”
The riots also come after a month of similar protests against police brutality in the city, where people demonstrated over the abuse and rape of a young Black man by police in a Paris suburb.