A prominent anti-government “yellow vest” activist was badly injured in the eye after being hit by a rubber bullet used by the French police, his lawyer has said.
Philippe de Veulle, the lawyer of Jerome Rodrigues, fears he will be disabled for life following the injury in clashes with the police in Paris on Saturday during the 11th straight weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron.”He is in shock. He will be handicapped for life. It is a tragedy for him and his family,” the lawyer told French news station BFM TV, adding that he was going to lodge a complaint against the police. Rodrigues was placed in an artificial coma overnight after the incident at the Bastille monument in central Paris.
De Veulle said Rodrigues was struck with a “flashball”, referring to the 40mm rubber projectiles used by French anti-riot police. The use of riot-control guns using rubber bullets as the ammunition has become quite controversial in France, where it has been blamed for dozens of serious injuries since the protests began in November.
On Saturday, police armed with anti-riot guns were for the first time deployed with body cameras in a bid to increase transparency.