Officers fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters who marched in the western city of Nantes on Saturday to protest police use of force.

The demonstration followed the death of 24-year-old Steve Maia Canico, whose body was recovered Monday close to where he was last seen alive at a dance party by the Loire River on June 22. The exact circumstances of his death remain unclear, but more than a dozen people fell into the river when police moved in using tear gas to break up the party.

A peaceful demonstration on Saturday morning, during which hundreds stood in silence and threw flowers into the river, was followed by a larger protest later in the city center which drew 1,700 people, according to police.

Footage from this protest showed small groups of masked people using chairs to erect barricades, setting small fires and throwing projectiles at police. Authorities said they arrested about 40 people, mostly for carrying objects which could be used as weapons, or for acts of violence. 

People march behind a banner reading for Steve during a protest in Paris (Getty Images/AFP/M. Bureau)

Demonstrations protesting Steve Maia Canico’s death were also held in Paris

Death sparks nationwide concern

Canico’s death has become a rallying cry for those who criticize French police for using excessive force, including against yellow vest protesters who have led anti-government marches across the country during recent months. Demonstrations were also held on Saturday in other French cities, including Paris. 

The dead man’s family, through their lawyer, have pleaded for calm and disassociated themselves from any violence.

In the month after Canico disappeared, posters were put up around Nantes asking, “Where is Steve?” During Saturday’s demonstration, people held placards reading “Who killed Steve?” and “Where is the justice for Steve?”

Watch video 03:48

Yellow vest protesters denounce disproportionate force

Authorities have come under fire over their handling of the case after an initial report said no direct link could be established between the police action at the music festival and Canico’s death.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has promised transparency about the police action. Several probes, including a judicial investigation, have been launched.

se/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

Every evening at 1830 UTC, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

‘How have I not seen this before?’: Trump’s ‘House of Wings’ 2004 SNL skit goes viral (VIDEO)

Trump performed throughout the episode but was the centerpiece of the skit…

U.N. warns world not doing nearly enough to avert climate catastrophe

Geneva — Countries have procrastinated for too long and need to begin making…

Video of boys beating deer prompts investigation

A viral video of two boys beating an injured deer that had…

Saudi Arabia’s first female RACING DRIVER says she still cannot believe it as she prepares to compete in her home country for the first time

Sliding behind the wheel of a sleek electric SUV, Reema Juffali is…