Clashes near Paris after young black man dies in police custody

Protesters outside Persan police station on 20 July Image copyright @antoine_marette
Image caption Protesters gathered outside the local police station on Wednesday

Clashes have taken place for a second night in the French town of Beaumont-sur-Oise following the death of a young black man in police custody.

Petrol bombs were thrown at officers and an attempt was made to burn down the town hall. Eight arrests were made.

Police say Adama Traore suffered a heart attack on Tuesday after he was detained in the town north of Paris.

But family and friends say he was healthy and was "beaten to death". An autopsy will take place on Thursday.

In 2005 the deaths of two teenagers who were electrocuted after hiding in an electricity substation while attempting to avoid arrest sparked weeks of rioting across the country.

Image copyright Google Street View
Image caption Adama Traore was from the Boyenval area of Beaumont-sur-Oise

The clashes began on Tuesday night after it emerged that Mr Traore, 24, had died shortly after being arrested.

He was taken into custody after interfering in the arrest of his brother in a case of extortion, a source close to the investigation told AFP news agency.

Local prosecutor Yves Jannier said Adama "fainted during the ride" to the police station and paramedics were unable to revive him.

But his brother Baguy told Le Parisien that when he got out of a different police vehicle at the police station he saw his brother lying on the floor. A police officer with blood on his shirt said Adama was "pretending", his brother said.

"We know it is going to be covered up. We know if things don't burn nothing will come of it, that is how we feel," said Ornel, 24, who took part in the disturbances.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The deaths of two teenagers running away from police in 2005 sparked weeks of rioting

On Tuesday night five riot police officers were injured, nine cars were set ablaze, several public buildings were damaged and one person was arrested.

On Wednesday, a group of protesters gathered in front of the local police station chanting "Justice for Adama". Police responded with CS gas, Le Monde reported.

The unrest continued on Wednesday night, with 15 cars set ablaze.

Mr Traore's death comes ahead of a planned march against police brutality in Paris on Saturday using the slogan Black Lives Matter, a US movement that has become prominent following several high profile killings of black people by police.

Some Black Lives Matter protests have already been held outside the US, including several demonstrations in London earlier this month.

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