PARIS • French police banned demonstrations planned for outside the US embassy and on the lawns near the Eiffel Tower in Paris yesterday as protests mount around the world over the death of Mr George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The Paris police department said it decided to ban the demonstrations because of the risks of social disorder and health dangers from large gatherings due to the corona-virus pandemic.
Trouble broke out earlier last week at an anti-police demonstration in the French capital. Thousands had turned up on Wednesday despite a police ban on the event in memory of Mr Adama Traore, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to Mr Floyd’s death.
Protests have taken place across the US after the death of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American who died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
French government spokesman Sibeth Ndiaye on Wednesday dismissed comparisons between police violence in France and the United States, saying there was no systemic state violence in France and that incidents were fully investigated and punished.
Yesterday’s protests were billed on social media as demonstrations against police violence, the Paris police said in a statement.
It added that this raised fears of social disorder as had been the case at the Traore protests, where police clashed with demonstrators.
Some law enforcement officials in France have been accused in recent years of disproportionate use of force, particularly during the “Yellow Vest” protests in 2018 and last year.
The government has always rejected the term “police violence” despite repeated criticism from human rights organisations.