US citizen among attackers who smashed & torched police car during Paris riots (VIDEO)
French police have said an American citizen was among the rioters detained in Paris after protests staged on May 18. A 27-year-old man took part in a rally against a bill weakening worker protections. He was among those who smashed and torched a police car, also attacking police officers.
The American has been preliminary charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter of a person holding public office, coercive actions and property damage as part of an organized gang. The American diplomatic mission in the French capital made no comments on the incident.
The American remains in custody, prosecutor's office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told the Associated Press. The man admitted to taking part in protests, but denied his role in the attack on police. Police believe the US citizen threw a post at the windshield of the police vehicle.
The other four arrested with the US citizen and charged with similar offences, were in possession of weapons, such as brass-knuckles, a club and several Molotov cocktails.
A video, posted soon after the riots, showed several incredibly aggressive masked men destroying a police car with two officers inside, one of them a woman, smashing its front and rear shields with steel posts and kicking the car’s side windows in. One of the police officers was seen taking out a gun, which he did not use. Finally, the officer steps out of the vehicle and one of the protestors attacks him with a metal bar.
The law enforcer doesn’t respond to the battering apart from dodging and blocking, possibly suggesting police were ordered to deal with the protesters in a soft way. In the end, the officers had to flee to join their colleagues, abandoning their torched vehicle.
Most of the demonstrators preferred to stay away from the trouble, which was caused by a small group of approximately 15 activists. Reporters and photographers on site outnumbered the “activists.”
The assaulted police officer was later hospitalized, and subsequently commended by the interior minister. His female colleague got away with minor injuries. The demonstrators said the police provoked them by using tear gas, batons, pepper spray and water cannons.