Youths riot in French town over death in custody
LYON, France (Reuters) – Youths in the southeastern French town of Firminy burnt cars and destroyed a social centre overnight Wednesday as protests over the death in police custody of a young man continued for a second night.
Around 200 riot police were deployed to control the situation with a helicopter circling overhead as groups of young people set fire to rubbish bins before moving on to torch cars and the social centre.
The protests followed the death Wednesday of Mohamed Benmouna, a local man arrested for attempted extortion, who fell into a coma after what police said was a suicide attempt and died several hours later.
Benmouna’s family have expressed scepticism over the explanation by police who said he had used cords from a mattress to hang himself.
The state prosecutor in Saint-Etienne, the nearest major city, rejected suggestions of police abuse but said video surveillance equipment that would normally have filmed Benmouna’s cell was not functioning properly.[ emphasis by Signalfire]
An autopsy has been ordered and an inquiry into the case opened by the IGPN, the police inspectorate.
Nine people were arrested Wednesday after a night of violence Tuesday evening when Benmouna was still alive but in a coma following the incident.
Residents protest man’s killing allegedly by the police
july 8 Jamaica
Residents of Simpson Road in Rockfort, East Kingston blocked the road Wednesday in protest against another alleged police killing.
Three men were shot, one fatally, early Wednesday morning.
From around 1am, residents called RJR News claiming that a wake had been shot up by police on patrol.
What started as routine enforcement of the Noise Abatement or Night Noise Act reportedly turned bloody when the police began searching some of the individuals.
Alleged eyewitnesses say at some point during the search, things went awry as the police began shooting at the crowd.
She claim the dead man who was at nearby premises, was dragged by the police unto the premises were the wake was being held and shot dead.
According to her, the other two men were injured as the crowd tried to flee the fire.
She said the police took away the two injured men.
However, up to 11am, the dead man who has been identified as Ian Morrison, 19, remained in the road where he fell, fuelling the anger of residents.
A team from the Bureau of Special Investigations is probing the incident.