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Black Lives Matter Comes to France After Police Killings

Paris, July 28 (RHC)-- The suburbs of Paris are rising up once more against police killings, trying now to build up upon the U.S. movement Black Lives Matter as residents are furious over the death of another young Black man in police custody a week ago.

Between 1,000 people, according to the police, and 5,000 people, according to organizers, participated in the “White March,” meant to launch the French version of Black Lives Matter.  But informal unrest actually began last week after it emerged that Adama Traore, born in Mali, had died shortly after being arrested in the town of Beaumont-sur-Oise, on his 25th birthday.

Authorities said an autopsy revealed Traore was suffering from a serious infection at the time of his death and that his body showed few signs of violence.  However, Traore's brother, who witnessed the fatal arrest, said Traore tried to run away from a routine police identity check because he did not have his documents on him at that moment. Another eye witnesses saw police hitting Traore in the head.

Traore's family said they were denied access to him during several hours at the police station, without being informed of Traore's actual state of health.  When more neighbors gathered in front of the police station, they were received with tear gas.

Judicial authorities have demanded a new autopsy on Tuesday, with results expected Wednesday, a few days after the French Ombudsman launched a separate investigation.  Various French celebrities have taken to social media to demand justice, including actor Omar Sy and rappers Nekfeu, Kery James and Youssoupha.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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