Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Police Rape Black Man in Paris, Sparking Protests

Four policemen brutally raped a Black youth during an identity check in the northern Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois on Thursday, February 2. The 22-year-old victim was hospitalized for severe injuries. While the Internal Affairs Bureau deems the incident a mere accident, this new act of police brutality has sparked outrage both locally and nationally.

Ivan Matewan

February 10, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Theo, 22 years old, was headed to a friend’s house on Thursday, February 2 when he was suddenly accosted by four members of the Specialized Ground Brigades (BST) in his neighborhood of Rose-les-Vents in the northern Parisian suburbs. The four policemen, whose mission it is to police lower-income neighborhoods, immediately asked to see his license.

They proceeded to beat him up. They then forced an expandable baton into his anal passage. While in police custody, medical help arrived with delay. The hospital has since confirmed that the injuries sustained by the 22-year-old man are those of a rape.

Footage from local CCTV has confirmed the victim’s and bystanders’ testimonies, and there are dried blood stains where police brutalized the young man.

Although the four officers were held in custody over the weekend, the police department decided to release them. The Internal Affairs Bureau explained that they believe the whole incident was nothing more than an unfortunate “accident.” According to their version of the story, Theo’s tracksuit pants fell down and the baton accidentally penetrated him. A true climate of police impunity currently reigns in Aulnay-sous-Bois where Theo remains hospitalized.

Protests in solidarity with the victim and against police impunity were held in Aulnay-sous-Bois over the weekend and still continue. They have been met with a muscled-up police presence. Several dozen protesters have been arrested and have been accused of ambushes and violent and unlawful assembly. Meanwhile the electricity has been shut off by authorities several times at night, helicopters patrol the skies, and tear gas fills the air, and police have even shot at protesters with real bullets in scenes reminiscent of the 2005 French suburb revolt.

Both local and national government officials have tried to calm things down. Coming out of his usual silence, the French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux condemned the rape of Theo as “exceptionally grave” at the National Assembly. In a major communication operation, the French President François Hollande personally visited the victim in the hospital, pressuring him with presidential compassion to ask the protesters to calm down.

Protesters gathered in other cities across the country, such as Paris and Toulouse, to show their support of the victim. But the social movement’s reaction to this extreme brutality has been slow to come. The labor movement must officially denounce what happened to Theo and ally itself with the youth of the working-class suburb of Rose-des-Vents. They must demand that the military encirclement of the city cease immediately and that justice be served.

Local teachers’ unions should go on strike in solidarity with their students who are hunted and victimized at the hands of the police. The biggest labor unions – the General Confederation of Labor, Solidaires, and the FSU – must also enter the arena and call for the end of the city’s occupation by militarized forces.

Such acts of police brutality are not uncommon in France. Only through an alliance between the organized labor movement, the youth, and the residents of poor neighborhoods will institutional racism and police brutality be able to be beaten back.

Facebook Twitter Share


Robert Habeck Wrote a Play Praising a Right-Wing Mass Murderer

Germany's Green vice chancellor strikes many as an idealist who has been struggling with the tough realities of government. Yet before he was a national politician, he wrote a play that opens a window into a dark soul.

Nathaniel Flakin

December 1, 2023

Fact Check: Did German Leftists Try to Bomb West Berlin’s Jewish Community Center in 1969?

Answer: No. The bombing was undertaken by West Germany’s domestic secret service, originally founded by Nazis.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 29, 2023
Tombstones in Germany defaced with Swasticas.

“Stop Thief!” The German State Attacks Migrants to Distract from Its Own Antisemitism

German politicians claim that antisemitism is an “imported problem.” Even a cursory look at the facts, however, shows that anti-Jewish hatred is not caused by pro-Palestinian protests. No, the source is German capitalism.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 21, 2023

Competing Rallies at Berlin’s Free University

On successive Fridays, there was a pro-Palestinian and a pro-Israeli rally at the Free University. One was dominated by international students, including many Jews and Palestinians, calling for solidarity — the other was dominated by German politicians spewing racism. Guess which was which.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 13, 2023


All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: What the Historic UAW Victory Means for the Working Class

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss the historic UAW victory, its shortcomings, and the tasks for the future.

Left Voice

December 5, 2023

The New Hollywood McCarthyism Emerging Around Palestine

Over the past week, a new Hollywood McCarthyism has emerged: multiple people in Hollywood have jobs and representation over their support of Palestine. We must denounce and fight these attacks which weaken the movement and scare supporters into silence.

Sybil Davis

December 3, 2023
A UAW sign is held next to a "Free Palestine" sign

The UAW Has Called for a Ceasefire. It’s Time for All of Labor to Stand Up.

The UAW International union has joined calls for a ceasefire and is exploring how to divest from Israel. This is a step which should inspire union activists to take up the fight to bring their union into the fight against Israel's attack on Gaza and the struggle against imperialism.

Rose Lemlich

December 2, 2023

The World Kissinger Built Must Die Too

Henry Kissinger died at 100 years old. But his legacy remains in the brutal world system he built and the future generations of imperialist ghouls he inspired. They all must go.

Samuel Karlin

November 30, 2023