“[A group of] fifteen people attacked the police cars at around 1500 hours,” a representative of the police officers’ union told BFM TV. “Stones were thrown, preventing the police from leaving their vehicles while they were targeted by Molotov cocktails.”
“The burns were so severe that the two officers had to be treated onsite before being taken to a hospital. One of the officers had burns on over 30 percent of their hands. Other officers who arrived as reinforcements in a second car were also pelted with Molotov cocktails,” added the spokesperson.
The officers who were initially targeted, a 28-year-old man and 39-year-old woman, were monitoring a CCTV camera recently installed on a crossroads known as the “Bakehouse,” named after a local bakery, when they were set upon by a mob of about 15 people. The injured officers were taken to hospital, while the occupants of the second car sustained minor injuries.
Built as a 1960s social utopia with winding coloured buildings it was intended to become an ideal dormitory town. In fact, with 11,000 inhabitants, it has become a by-word for poverty, drug dealing, arms trafficking, youth criminality and attacks on police, as well as arson attacks on public buildings.
Malek Boutih, Socialist MP for the area has called it, “One of the most difficult estates in France” […] “It has a big black population, who are often people who can’t find housing even when they’re working. There’s at least 40% unemployment, broken families, a high level of violence and decomposition. It’s not so much poverty that leads to it, it’s the decay of social order. There is extreme societal misery, but it’s the fact that it has just been abandoned by the state.”
Notable resident: Amedy Coulibaly, Islamist main suspect for the Montrouge shooting, and hostage-taker and gunman in the Porte de Vincennes hostage crisis