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POLICE VIOLENCE

Three years after Adama Traoré's death, a march against police brutality

Oumou Traoré, the mother of the late Adama Traoré, at an earlier march against police violence.
Oumou Traoré, the mother of the late Adama Traoré, at an earlier march against police violence. Crédit KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

Three years after the death of Adama Traoré during an attempt by police to arrest the 24-year-old, a protest on Saturday, organised by his family and friends, with support from elements of the Yellow Vest movement, is intended as a "historic act" against police violence.

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The march was due to pass in front of the police station in Beaumont-sur-Oise near Paris, from which the news of Adama Traoré's death was announced on 19 July 2016, shortly after he was arrested following a police chase.

The circumstances of his demise are still being investigated by the French justice authorities.

The police claim that he died as a result of a pre-existing medical condition; Traoré's family say he was chased for more than 15 minutes and died because of the intense effort required.

While Saturday's march was primarily called to mark the third anniversary of the Traoré death, it was also intended to remember "all the victims" of police brutality.

The organising slogan was "Stand up to violence".

As well as Yellow Vest demonstrators, antifascist militants, ecologists and various groups working for the rights of illegal immigrants were expected to take part. For several months now, the so-called Adama Committee has been developing links with such organisations, with the aim of uniting a range of related dissidents.

Last year, to mark the second anniversary of the tragic event, more than 1,500 representatives of mostly left-wing groups took part.

This year's march is, according to the organisers, intended to draw attention to the gradual spread of police repression from working-class areas to the society in general

The French Communist Party, the International Human Rights League and Amnesty International were among those calling for today's march to be supported.

Adama Traoré's family claim that they have been failed by the French justice system. They have called for the arrest of the officers on duty at the time of the young man's death.

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