Police brutality alleged in man’s death

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France, Jan. 10 (UPI) — A man whose alleged mistreatment while being held by French police set off riots in the city of Clermont-Ferrand has died.

Critics say Wissam El-Yammi, 30, who was arrested on New Year’s Eve, may have been a victim of police brutality, The Local.fr reported. They charge that he was a young man with no known history of heart disease and that emergency workers saw wounds on his neck.

Yammi died Monday night, more than a week after his arrest, Le Parisien reported.

A silent march to the police station was held last Saturday to protest his treatment. The allegations of police brutality sparked a riot and car burnings in poor neighborhoods of the city.

Police reports said Yammi was acting in a disorderly manner and threw objects at officers when they approached him on New Year’s Eve. He attempted to run away but was caught, thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

Tests showed he had been drinking and had also smoked marijuana and ingested cocaine, police said.

An investigation into the arrest is underway.

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