France: Drowning of festival-goer triggers protest of police

PARIS (AP) — Several hundred protesters have rallied in western France over the death of a local man who drowned during a clash between police and music festival participants.

The demonstration in the city of Nantes was mostly peaceful but officers fired short water cannon blasts at a few rowdy people, who then set fire to a small market stand in a square.

Exceptional security measures were put in place for Saturday’s rally amid growing public anger over the death of 24-year-old Steve Maia Canico.

Canico’s body was found in the Loire River on Monday. At the June 22 music festival, police fired tear gas and some festival-goers fell into the river.

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Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has promised an administrative inquiry and a judicial investigation would ensure “all the truth will be known” about Canico’s drowning.

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