On Monday, March 20th, French authorities confirmed that they were going to investigate the murder of Liu Shaoyo, 56, by Parisian policemen. By the words of Paris’s police force, shots were fired in self-defense during a raid because Liu Shaoyo approached an officer with a “bladed weapon”. Shaoyo was killed while cutting fish with scissors in front of his children while making dinner, and investigation may lead to the fact that he had not injured anyone; reports from Shaoyo’s neighbors remark that he had not opened the door by the time that the police had shot him. Shaoyo’s family’s lawyer claims that he was approaching the door with a blade because he was making dinner.
Whether or not Shaoyo had acted out, a person of color was murdered by law enforcement in a situation that did not require excessive force. Protesters from the French-Asian population began to counteract this police violence on Monday night, leading into Tuesday, where 35 people were handcuffed. Close to 100 people gathered in front of a Parisian police station on Monday, many of these people family members of Chinese activists who were arrested the night before. Large masses of people gathered in north-east Paris in the suburbs, which soon turned violent. One Chinese member of these protests was injured from this demonstration, and 26 people were arrested by law enforcement after suspicions that they were organizing group violence. This crowd chanted “murderers” and spelled “opposition to violence” in candles on the road. These demonstrators broke barricades formed by the police and immolated cars.
The anger of the community can be traced back to rising violence against Chinese immigrants in France. Many of France’s Asian population live in poorer neighborhoods and as a result, have become a target of much violence. In 2015, almost 200 acts of mugging and terror against Chinese immigrants were recorded by French officials.
This history of anti-Chinese insurgency can even be found as recently as August 2016, where 49-year-old Chinese tailor and father Zhang Choalin died from his injuries in the hospital after being assaulted by three teenagers in the suburbs of Aubervilliers. Choalin was unarmed. As a result of this hate crime, nearly 15,000 Chinese individuals appeared in Paris’s Place de la Republique to protest.
Violence against all ethnic groups of color has been rising steadily globally, with a rising murder rate for French African immigrants. As a result of ignorance of White Supremacy, innocent people have died in the hands of citizens and even authority.
As a result of hate crimes, Liu Shaoyo is dead.
For now, French officials plan to further investigate what happened on the day of the killing, and the French police still hold onto their original stance that this killing was accidental.