Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:25AM
French police officers restrain a protester (bottom-C) during a demonstration against police brutality, in Paris, February 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
French police officers restrain a protester (bottom-C) during a demonstration against police brutality, in Paris, February 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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Police in France have clashed violently with demonstrators taking part in an anti-police brutality rally in the capital, Paris.

Police forces used batons and tear gas to scatter crowds of angry protesters on Saturday.

More than a dozen protesters were arrested during the confrontations.

The Paris protest was part of a series of anti-police brutality rallies attended by thousands of people across the country in recent weeks. A total of more than 250 people have been arrested by police in the protests.

The demonstrations were organized after allegations that police officers raped and abused a young black man — identified only as Theo — during an ID check on February 2. One policeman has been charged with rape and another three have been charged with assault in the case.

The 22-year-old victim sustained severe injuries and had to undergo surgery.

Anti-racism groups have been calling for a change in policing policy.

“What happened to Theo isn’t an isolated case. It’s a structural problem of police violence that France must have the maturity to tackle,” said the head of the anti-racism group SOS Racisme, Dominque Sopo.

France has been in a state of emergency since terrorist attacks in November 2015. Under the emergency, police and law enforcement officers have been granted extended powers, which they reportedly sometimes abuse.