French police mishandled case that sparked 2005 riots: internal report

[JURIST] An internal investigation has found that French police officers improperly handled a case that sparked weeks of rioting [JURIST news archive] outside Paris and around the country late last year, a lawyer involved in the case said Thursday. The mass rioting began in the poor Paris suburbs in October 2005 after two immigrant youths - one from Tunisia and one from sub-Saharan Africa - were electrocuted in a Paris electrical sub-station where they had fled after allegedly being pursued by police. A lawyer for one of the victim's families said Thursday that an internal police investigation has concluded that officers did in fact pursue the two boys, despite initial denials from police officials, and that police acted with a "lack of thought." AP has more. Le Monde has local coverage, in French.

The ensuing riots began in Paris and soon spread to poor immigrant neighborhoods in cities around the country, prompting the government to authorize emergency powers [JURIST report] for local governments struggling to control the violence. The state of emergency was only lifted [JURIST report] in January 2006.

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