Horrifying footage has revealed the moment a seven-months-pregnant black woman was tackled to the ground by three railway guards at a Paris train station last week.
‘Leave her alone. She is pregnant,’ the 23-year-old woman’s partner shouted at officers as they pinned her to the floor in an arm lock last Tuesday in the Aulnay-sous-Bois suburb.
The arrest by agents of France’s nationalised rail company, SNCF, has fuelled outrage in the capital which has seen furious protests over police brutality since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
The SNCF have defended their officers who they say they were spat at and bitten by the woman, named only as Diatou, after she refused to wear a mask.
Diatou said the agents had no justification for the violence, which also resulted in the arrest of her partner.
Diatou said the agents had no justification for the violence, which also resulted in the arrest of her partner. ‘I did not insult them, I did not hit them, I don’t understand why they tackled me to the floor,’ she said. ‘Every time I see this footage, I have to cry. I see the images in my head.’
‘I did not insult them, I did not hit them, I don’t understand why they tackled me to the floor,’ she told news site Loopsider. ‘Every time I see this footage, I have to cry. I see the images in my head.’
The footage begins with an SNCF agent pushing the heavily pregnant woman backwards in the station as she says: ‘Don’t push me.’
She is then pulled and tackled to the ground as she repeatedly says: ‘Don’t push me.’
She cries out in pain as the agent and a colleague take her down and pin her to the floor on her stomach.
While they take her down, her partner can be heard trying to get to her saying: ‘Let me go.’
He then adds: ‘Leave her alone. She is pregnant.’
He tries to intervene, but other SNCF railway security agents stop him from doing so.
Diatou can be heard screaming as her partner tries to intervene again, aiming a kick at a security agent who is putting handcuffs on her.
‘I did not insult them, I did not hit them, I don’t understand why they tackled me to the floor,’ she told news site Loopsider . ‘Every time I see this footage, I have to cry. I see the images in my head.’
Her partner, 30, was also taken into custody and he too will be tried on August 25 for rebellion
A male voice, clearly that of the person filming, can be heard telling the agents: ‘She is pregnant! She is pregnant! I swear to God, you are messing up! She is pregnant!’
The woman’s partner tries to intervene again but the agents then detain him too.
Three SNCF agents have filed a complaint.
Diatou was taken to hospital where it was confirmed she was seven months pregnant and she was then taken into detention for several hours before being released on bail.
She will appear in court on August 25 on charges of violence against the three security guards.
Her partner, 30, was also taken into custody and he too will be tried on August 25 for rebellion.
‘Leave her alone. She is pregnant,’ the 23-year-old woman’s partner shouted at officers as they pinned her to the floor last Tuesday in the Aulnay-sous-Bois suburb.
Last Wednesday, medical workers took to the streets of Paris to protest the arrest of a nurse who was dragged through dirt by police.
About 50 people gathered in front of a police station on the capital’s Left Bank to support the nurse, identified only as Farida, who was arrested during a medical workers’ protest march the day before.
The woman’s daughter, Imen Mellaz, announced that her mother had been released from custody just before Wednesday’s gathering and charged with rebellion. Before her arrest, the nurse was seen throwing rocks at police.
‘Maybe the charges were legitimate, but in no way was the violence proportionate,’ her daughter said.
In video of the incident shared widely online, police are seen dragging the nurse by her hair, she calls repeatedly for her inhaler, and her forehead is bloodied.
Hospital workers march during a demonstration, Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Paris. French hospital workers and others are protesting in cities around the country to demand better pay and more investment in France’s public hospital system
Police advance on protesters during a march against police brutality and racism in Marseille, France, Saturday, June 13, 2020, organized by supporters of Adama Traore, who died in police custody in 2016
The CGT union said one of her ribs was broken. Activists said that what happened to her was part of a pattern of disproportionate use of force by police.
French government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye defended the nurse’s arrest last week, alleging she had a history of aggressive acts.
‘The arrest was carried out based on the woman’s prior behavior,’ Ndiaye said.
CGT members, activists from France’s anti-government yellow vest movement, nurses and allies took part in Wednesday’s rally backing the nurse. Étienne Charenton, a nurse at a psychiatric hospital, said he is tired.
‘We are subject to violence every day at work and we were subject to it again at the protest, even though it was mostly about making our demands heard and festive,’ he said before the crowd dispersed peacefully.