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French police watchdog to probe alleged racist incident as housing estate tensions soar

A video clip of alleged racist behaviour by police officers in the Ile-Saint-Denis area near Paris has sparked an investigation by France's police watchdog.
A video clip of alleged racist behaviour by police officers in the Ile-Saint-Denis area near Paris has sparked an investigation by France's police watchdog. AFP - PATRICK KOVARIK

France's IGPN internal police watchdog will investigate an incident of alleged racist behaviour by police officers in the Ile-Saint-Denis area near Paris, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Monday, as tension simmers on housing estates.

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"A video showing a police intervention in the sector of Ile-Saint-Denis has led to legitimate indignation," Castaner wrote on his Twitter account early on Monday.

"All light will be shed on the matter. The IGPN has been alerted. Racism has no place in the Republican police force."

Stringent curbs on public movement ordered by President  Emmanuel Macron to tackle the coronavirus outbreak have exacerbated deep-seated social tensions in the low-income, high-rise estates around the French capital.

Violent clashes broke out last week between youths and police in several such areas, as well as other parts of the country, such as Roubaix in the north. 

(REUTERS)

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