French police Apologize for Raping Black Man*
Racial profiling by French police during routine identity checks has been condemned by the courts.
French police announced Thursday that they believe the rape of a Black man by police using a baton was accidental and that evidence showing the penetration was intentional was insufficient. This conclusion was made after an internal inquiry was conducted by the police.
The statement was made after days of protests in the French capital by those outraged by the excessive use of force against a 22-year-old Black man in a Paris suburb.
The incident occurred in a housing complex in the Aulnay-sous-Bois suburb when four police officers arrived to conduct identity checks. A 22-year-old Black man, identified only by his first name Theo, was allegedly stopped by the officers, forced to the ground and beaten. The young man did not have a prior criminal record.
The abuse caused him serious injuries for which he was rushed to a hospital and required surgery due to the severity of the injuries. One of the police officers has been charged with rape, while three others were charged with assault.
Protests erupted throughout Paris in response to the brutal beating by police.
There has been little oversight of police practices in France, even after sociologists ran an independent study in 2009 proving that racial profiling is a reality. The study found that a Black or Arab person had a 6.2 and 7.7% greater chance, respectively, of being stopped by police than a white person.
While much more limited than 12 years ago, the unrest served as a reminder of the simmering tensions in neighborhoods with higher-than-average unemployment and big immigrant populations, as France prepares to elect a new president this year.