Photos from the anti-racism protests in Paris
Last night, more than 20,000 Parisians took to the streets to rally against police brutality and racism.
Photography Aliocha Boi
In France, the George Floyd affair is a bitter reminder of that of Adama Traoré, a Malian-French 24-year-old who died in police custody at a station on the outskirts of Paris in 2016. The case has come under fresh scrutiny in light of the release of a new medical report just a few days ago, in which the ostensibly culpable police officers were formally exonerated. It’s a decision that’s been met with bewilderment by Adama’s relatives, who are calling for the indictment of the accused officers.
Writing on social media, Assa Traoré, Adama’s sister, spoke out against the inquiry’s latest conclusions, released “at a time when the whole world is outraged at the death of George Floyd in the United States under the same conditions as Adama Traoré.” Reinforcing her remarks, a new independent report carried out at the request of Adama’s family places blame on the officers present at the station at the time of his passing. His final words are even alleged to have been the same as George Floyd’s: “I can’t breathe.”
Since the killing of Floyd on May 25, America has burned with anger. Pinned beneath the knee of a white police officer for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the 46-year-old Black man suffered a cardiac arrest as a direct consequence of the pressure placed on his neck, despite his many attempts to alert officers that he was asphyxiating. With two autopsies -- one independent and one official -- now corroborating these facts, a wave of impassioned protest has swept 140 American cities, extending beyond US borders to reach London, Toronto, Berlin and Sydney. On the evening of June 2, Parisians rallied together behind Assa Traoré, a figurehead of France’s anti-racist struggle, and the head of the collective "La Vérité pour Adama" [Truth for Adama].
More than 20,000 protesters gathered before Paris’ High Court in the 17th arrondissement in order to demonstrate their solidarity and support for the Traoré family, as well as for all victims of police brutality across the world. Rapper Abd Al Malik also gave a short speech at the march, which will no doubt go down as a truly symbolic moment in the history of France’s fight against racism.
Photography Aliocha Boi
This article originally appeared on i-D FR.