Paris police clash with youths protesting over rape case

Students talk with a riot police officer as they protest against alleged police abuses in front of the Henri Bergson college, in Paris. Photo / AP
Students talk with a riot police officer as they protest against alleged police abuses in front of the Henri Bergson college, in Paris. Photo / AP

Paris teenagers blockaded high schools with burning garbage cans and skirmished with riot officers at an unauthorized protest Thursday, angered by the alleged rape of a young black man with a police baton and other police abuse.

Police fired tear gas on small groups of protesters and detained 11 people after a crowd of about 1,000 youth marched on the Place de la Nation, according to a police spokesman. The plaza in eastern Paris is associated with the French revolution.

Some protesters wore masks and lit flares. One group carried a banner reading "Vengeance for Theo," the name of the alleged rape victim.

Students protest against alleged police abuses in front of the Henri Bergson college, in Paris. Photo / AP
Students protest against alleged police abuses in front of the Henri Bergson college, in Paris. Photo / AP

Students blocked 16 of the region's 103 high schools with makeshift barricades and disrupted 12 others, a Paris school district spokesman said. Extra security measures were put in place at the affected schools.

Both spokesmen were not authorized to be publicly named.

The alleged attack on Theo last month in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois also has prompted public rallies of support for the 22-year-old and also violent protests around the capital.

Students walk past debris in front of the Henri Bergson college after a protest against alleged police abuses. Photo / AP
Students walk past debris in front of the Henri Bergson college after a protest against alleged police abuses. Photo / AP

Theo, who was hospitalized for two weeks, has become a symbol for minorities standing up to police violence. His last name has not been publicly released.

One officer has been charged with rape in the case, and three others with aggravated assault. All deny intentional wrongdoing.

- AP

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