The 24-year-old Massar D, born in Senegal, reportedly died after fleeing from police officers and resisting arrest. Massar was eventually “brought to the ground” and spat out “about 30 bags of crack”.
In early November, the young “Spaniard” was plunged into a deep coma following his arrest at the Gare du Nord in the French capital. He died, according to his relatives, at the hand of law enforcement.
“The relatives of Massar, who died after a police arrest, are organising a rally on Sunday, December 3 at Gare du Nord,” according to the Facebook page Blocus Info. A call to protest was also relayed by the militant site demosphere.eu.
On the afternoon of December 3, indeed, a few dozen people gathered in front of the North Station in Paris, while a number of netizens relayed Twitter images of the mobilization with the hashtag #JusticePourMassar.
Among the ranks of the protesters was anti-racist journalist and activist Rokhaya Diallo. “The family and groups committed against police violence are demanding clarification on the troubled circumstances of his death,” she tweeted, suggesting that the death of Massar was the result of a police identity check.
Activist Sihame Assbague – organizer of the controversial decolonization summer camps in France – also relayed images of the mobilization on Twitter.
One user, among others, filmed the event via Periscope. An large police deployment could bee seen in the images. Another tweeted in English about the case, recalling that the young Massar had been arrested because he was suspected of selling hard drugs.
Over the course of the afternoon, tensions increased between protesters and police until law enforcement officers used tear gas to disperse the angry crowd. The journalist Clément Lanot captured these moments when the protesters blocked the road and targeted police officers.
The latter noted that the Christmas decorations at the station had been used as projectiles.
On November 20, 20 Minutes reported that Massar D, a young “Spaniard of Cameroonian origin”, was declared brain dead, confirming information from French magazine Le Point.
According to the daily, the individual had been plunged into a deep coma following his arrest at the Gare du Nord in Paris on 9 November. The police patrol of the rail networks had arrested the young man because they had suspected him of selling drugs in the station.
After a short chase, Massar D was stopped, but then he felt sick a few seconds later. According to a source quoted by 20 Minutes, the suspect at this time of the operation spat out “30 bags of crack” he was hiding in his mouth.
The young African went into in cardiac arrest on the arrival of the emergency services. The emergency medics could get his heart going again, but the resulting brain damage was already irreversible.
According to Le Point, the doctors extracted two other pouches taken from his airways. The site demosphere.eu, said Massar D died on November 22, 2017, after 13 days of hospitalisation in the intensive care unit of the Lariboisière hospital.