A 22-year-old French man says a police officer used a baton to rape him during an arrest in a Paris suburb, leaving him to undergo emergency surgery for injuries to his rectum. According to one of the involved officer's lawyers, the baton might've slipped into the man's anus by mistake. It's a story few are buying in Aulnay-sous-Bois, where protesters have gathered for the past six nights while the youth worker, a black man identified as Theo, remains in a hospital, per the Independent. A police officer has been charged with rape and three others face charges of assault after the event last Thursday—Theo was stopped for an identity check as police were looking for drug dealers, per the Local—though police say there is insufficient evidence of a rape.
A police source say a video shows an officer "applying a truncheon blow horizontally across the buttocks," adding Theo's pants at some point "slipped down on their own." Theo, however, says an officer "took his baton and shoved it into my buttocks," per the New York Times. He says officers also beat him, sprayed him with tear gas, and called him a "b----." Police have used tear gas to subdue protesters across France in the days since. In one case, police fired live rounds into the air to disperse protesters, several of whom have been arrested, accused of setting cars on fire, damaging buildings, and "ambushing" police. Theo, visited by French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, has implored protesters to remain peaceful.