Police Fire Teargas On Protesters In France
Anti-criminality brigade (BAC) police officers charge demonstrator during a gathering in Nantes on August 3, 2019 called in memory of Steve Maia Caniço whose body was found in the River Loire a month after he went missing during a police raid on a music festival. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP

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

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

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In Nantes, emotions ran high when the crowd gathered in the morning by the banks of the River Loire, where the body of 24-year-old Steve Maia Canico was finally recovered Monday.

His body was found not far from where he was last spotted alive at an all-night event during the Festival of Music in Nantes on June 21-22.

Officers used tear gas to break up the party in the small hours of the morning and several revellers fell into the river during clashes.

Near a portrait of the young man now known across France simply as “Steve”, people threw flowers into the river while others held up placards with the slogans “Who killed Steve?” and “Where is the justice for Steve?”

This message echoed posters put up around Nantes during the time he was missing which simply asked “Where is Steve?”.

Later Saturday, hundreds of people of all ages marched on the local police headquarters. Police put the numbers at some 1,700.

Some set up barricades, windows were broken and police responded with teargas and water cannon when projectiles were thrown and fires started.