More clashes in Paris as family of dead Chinese man dispute police account of shooting

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 6:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 6:54pm

Ten people were arrested in a second night of protests in Paris over the killing by police of a Chinese father of five, an incident that has caused tensions with Beijing.

Around 400 members of the Asian community and supporters of anti-racism groups gathered outside a police station in the northeast of the capital to again denounce the fatal shooting of Shaoyo Liu, 56, in his home two days earlier.

Those who were arrested had thrown projectiles, the police said, bringing to 45 the number of protesters detained since the killing which led the Chinese government to file an official complaint.

The police say three officers were called to the man’s home in the multi-ethnic 19th district of Paris on Sunday evening after reports of a domestic dispute.

Watch: Paris police clash with Chinese demonstrators

They say the man attacked a policeman with a knife, causing injuries, and that another officer then opened fire in self-defence, killing the man.

The dead man’s family were present at the time of the shooting and dispute the police version of events, denying there was a domestic row.

“He didn’t injure anyone,” the family’s lawyer Calvin Job said, adding that the man was “trimming fish with a pair of scissors” when the police burst down his door and “fired without warning”.

The incident has prompted a heated exchange between the Chinese and French governments.

The Chinese foreign ministry Tuesday called on France to protect its citizens and said Beijing had filed the complaint.

Newly appointed French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl condemned the violence that occurred during Monday’s protest, where clashes broke out between the police and demonstrators who chanted: “Police murderers.”

Fekl said the officers had his “full support” and he appealed for calm while a police oversight body investigates the killing.

Estimates put the size of the Chinese community in Paris at between 200,000 and 300,000. Many of the first-generation Chinese nationals who live in the French capital arrived in the 1980s and work in the textile industry.

French police have repeatedly come under fire for alleged brutality during operations in deprived neighbourhoods.

In a case that caused widespread outrage, a black youth worker was hospitalised in February with severe anal injuries after being allegedly sodomised with a police baton.

The incident in the gritty Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois triggered several nights of rioting on housing estates around the capital.