Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
Replay
The Sound Kitchen
Those amazing trills
Sound Kitchen Podcast
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/19 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/16 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/15 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Europe

Dozens arrested after violence erupts during Nantes protests to mark Steve Caniço's death

media A woman holds a placard reading "Truth and justice for Steve" as activists from French associations "Clap33" and "Collectif Quatre Couleurs" gather to pay a tribute on July 30, 2019, in Bordeaux, southwestern France. MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP

Two people were injured and 40 arrested after police in Nantes fired teargas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters against police violence and the unexplained death of a music festival-goer in June.
 

Edited: 04/08/2019:10am:

Police in the western French city of Nantes fired teargas and water cannon at hundreds of demonstrators protesting Saturday against police violence and the unexplained death of a music festival-goer in June.

Demonstrations expressing solidarity took place in several other French cities across France, some organised by the "yellow jackets" protest movement.

Police said they had arrested 42 people for "acts of violence and carrying a weapon".

 Two people were injured, a police officer and a protester, but not seriously, according to police figures.

  A medic at the scene told French news agency AFP that the injured protester was a 54-year-old man who had suffered a heart attack last month.

 

                                                             * * * 

Police in the western French city of Nantes fired teargas and water cannon at hundreds of demonstrators protesting Saturday against police violence and the unexplained death of a music festival-goer in June.

Demonstrations expressing solidarity took place in several other French cities across France, some organised by the "yellow jackets" protest movement.

Police said they had arrested 42 people for "acts of violence and carrying a weapon".

 Two people were injured, a police officer and a protester, but not seriously, according to police figures.

  A medic at the scene told French news agency AFP that the injured protester was a 54-year-old man who had suffered a heart attack last month.

 

Crowds started to gather at around 11am on the island of Nantes, not far from the yellow crane, where the body of Steve Maia Caniço was found on Monday in the Loire.

The 24-year-old disappeared during the night of 21 to 22 June while attending a Fête de la Musique on the banks of the Loire.

He was among several people who fell into the river after a police charge. Many claimed they had been blinded by tear gas.

On Saturday, near a portrait of the man now known across France simply as "Steve", protesters threw flowers into the river while others held up placards with the slogans "Who killed Steve?" and "Where is the justice for Steve?"

The message echoed posters put up around Nantes during the month during which he was missing which simply asked "Where is Steve?".

Fracas

The scuffles erupted after nearly 2,000 protesters marched on the police headquarters as well as the cathedral and the chateau. Some set up barricades and broke windows.

Officers responded with teargas and water cannon when missiles were thrown at them and fires were started.

Police said 40 people were arrested for acts of violence and carrying a weapon. A protester and a policeman were reported to have been slightly hurt in the skirmishes.

The family of the dead man disassociated themselves from any violence and pleaded for calm, said their lawyer Cecile de Oliveira.

Other protests were held throughout France on Saturday, notably in Paris, Montpelier and Toulouse, as part of the long-running weekly "yellow vest" demonstrations.

In the French capital around around 100 people paid homage to Steve, observing a minute's silence and leaving white roses.

Family and friends of Caniço refute the police inquiry's findings and have  demonstrated in Nantes under the banner "Justice for Steve".

On Tuesday they gathered to light candles along the River Loire close to where he died.

Questions

"There’s anger because the internal police inquiry said there was no link between Steve's death and the police charge," said Alexane, a close friend of Caniço's.

"That's a bit ironic when you know that the last person to see him was 10 minutes before the police charged and that he was sleeping. I don’t see how it’s possible that there isn’t a link.

"What's happening is unbelievable. For Steve's friends and family, if no one admits what happened there will always be bitterness?”

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.