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Here's a home video clip a friend sent that claims to show Paris police shooting in the suburbs. Fairly strong stuff.

Disclaimer: I do not know anything further about the site or the clip.

23 Comments

Interesting. Does anyone know when this occurred? The other question is, what are they shooting? Admittedly, the picture and sound quality are (understandably) not great, but both the sound of the weapons and their shape are strange. They have a tinny quality to their firing. It doesn't sound like a pistol, at least those I've heard at the range. They also look too big to be "standard" pistols but too small to be typical rifles or shotguns. They almost seem like either a tear gas launcher.

I'm guessing it's an SMG with rubber bullets? I have never heard the sound of a gun firing a "non-lethal" projectile so I'm not sure if it's different.

Don't believe the left-wing hype, and check this URL: http://www.flash-ball.com/pages-us/i_fb_tech.htm
... Regular rubber bullets (although I feel a few lead ones wouldn't be out of place at this moment)

The guys speaking sounded like they were speaking Russian, but I couldn't hear it very well.

I think it is French that they are speaking, but it is indeed very hard to tell.

That whole piece about Flashball was interesting, but strange. A .38 will not necessarily deliver a KO. It was that realization that led the US army to make the 1911-type .45 ACP the standard issue sidearm for decades. Its also been behind the growing popularity of .40 S&W pistols in more recent times. In any case, that thing looks like it would be as hard as hell to shoot (you better have a strong wrist).

It's French they are speaking even if the guy whop shot the movie – apparently from one of the projects – has a definite African accent.

The police has been the receiving end of live fire, and they're shooting back with rubber bullets. The rioters should count themselves lucky.
Hundreds of cars have been burnt, people injured. These projects are usually off-limits to the police. Don't be fooled by the left-wing press. This is a serious situation, and if left festering, could turn into something nastier.

The Champs-Elysees neighbourhood, the poshest streets in Paris, used to be the "playing grounds" of immigrants, until the police presence was upped. It sent these people back to their home ground, with this result.
Very sad.

dda: So, what would you do if you were calling the shots in the French government?

It doesn't sound like any of the common rifles I know. It sounds like its low velocity and video shows that it has short barrel which means it's very likely a rubberball gun. *woosh* tailing sound matchs that too.

Is that Flash Ball available in the US? You'd think there would be a pretty sizable market for something like that here. I don't believe it will deliver a "KO" with certainty, but I think there are a lot of consumers who would think it would be nice to have an alternative for home defense that you could reach for before turning to the old shotgun.

Instead of discussing of guns…

I wonder why Thomas Crampton has posted this.

* without any contextual information
* without explaining the history of it
* without introducing the topic and asking why it could be interesting and why he wanted to show this.

Karl, I believe that Thomas Crampton wrote " I do not know anything further about the site or the clip." That is not a reason not to share it. Why don't you offer your thoughts about those points?

Thomas,

I expect (I hope) that your editor at the IHT wouldn't even let you mention this in your story without some indication, checking, verification of what they are so why post them on the Internet?

Similarly, I would have thought a trained journalist would have extended his reporting standards to cyberspace but if not this is indeed worrying. If news organizations are getting more into blogging (OK, this isn't the IHT site but still you're an identified IHT writer) and then standards are dropping then what's the future for news?

Ya know, if you actually read the article it says "flash ball" and "rubber balls."

The description of the video is in the final paragraph.

{poorly} translated version of website via altavista:

http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_pagecontent?lp=fr_en&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.afrik.com%2Farticle8965.html

Peter,

There are many reasons I do not share my opinions about this specific movie. Is that I don't know what the movie is about, because Thomas didn't give any context for it. When you give such a movie, you may expect a minimum. Let's say I'm giving you a movie of a scene of torture without any context. Is it coming from a fiction movie? a report? a private filming? etc.

At least Thomas could give a list of questions and/or request for information, but posting and putting at the same time a disclaimer saying that he doesn't know anything about it, is indeed a problem as 13- Anon reader posted.

If it's what happening in France right now. I do not follow enough the news in France these days to give a sound opinion. But I can refer you to all articles written by the different French Media about it and young webloggers who are talking about the events.


I understand what you are saying and see where you are coming from, but the alternative is that Thomas will decide, having seen it himself, that we should not see it, which sees strange as well. Besides, this a weblog. If there are problems or not readily apparent dimensions to this, they will out. I was a big skeptic of the blogosphere in this fact- and context-checking regard (even taking shots at Joi Ito in the past on this point), but have to admit now that the self-correcting nature of the blogosphere in this regard is pretty good. To a certain extent, this is the difference between the IHT and the blogosphere: the blogosphere has this relatively intellectually competitive decentralized, informal self-scrutinizing quality (as opposed to the IHT, which must rely on formal internal mechanisms). And everyone, or at least everyone with any experience the blogosphere, recognizes this: the release of material like this comes with no guarantee of quality, authenticity or context. What IHT produces is like a product with all these guarantees. Releasing something like this in the blogosphere is more an onside kick in US football. As long as everyone understands that going into it, I think it is fine.

>>And everyone, or at least everyone with any experience the blogosphere, recognizes this: the release of material like this comes with no guarantee of quality, authenticity or context. What IHT produces is like a product with all these guarantees. Releasing something like this in the blogosphere is more an onside kick in US football. As long as everyone understands that going into it, I think it is fine.

Peter,

Thanks for the response and I think this is the way the blogosphere works best at present but .... if blogs are really going to become an important news source then surely this has to change?

Or perhaps people's expectations of news have moved so far to entertainment that they don't care how well researched or correct the information is, just that it satisfies them for a few moments before they move on.

The other big problem with the self-correcting nature of blogs is that it only works if people come back and see the correction. That doesn't always happen with newspapers and, I bet given the vast network of interlinking between blogs, that it happens less in the blogosphere because people are visiting a wider selection of blogs everyday and not always coming back.

If we can't rely on the original provider of the information or link to verify its correctness, can we rely on them to point us back to a source a few days later when the source corrects the original post?

This isn't necessarily a criticism about blogs. If people know what you mention above then it's fine but I wonder how many people do?

AR

Hi,
i'm french.
the police shoot with flashball as far as i know.
the guy who films says "he's hot" about the cop running and shooting (hot = chaud, means very excited )
hope this help.

Sorry for the radio silence, but have been in the suburbs doing reporting.

Many of the youths in Clichy-Sous-Bois have this film on their mobile telephones.

They showed me the place where they said it was shot from and it does credibly looks like a section of Le Chene Pointu.

The widespread use of Flash Balls by police has been stated my many in the suburbs as reason why rioters have been reluctant to enter into pitched battles with police.

Had the injuries from a Flash Ball described by several youths. It does not sound like a pleasant experience to be hit by one! (But given the number of people who have likely been hit, it apparently does not easily kill.)

"It does not sound like a pleasant experience to be hit by one! (But given the number of people who have likely been hit, it apparently does not easily kill.)"

Well, you stay off the streets, you don't get hit. Simple fact of life. Besides, the rioters have been shooting live fire on the cops, which smarts as hell, you know?

If the riots spread further, it could be a good idea, instead of plain-clothes with funky toy guns, to send the Legion, with live ammo. See if the rioters still feel like fighting.

... Adile Sarquane (agence Capa), who also had this film (and met his autor), decided at the end of the line not to diffuse it on the TV in "Le Vrai Journal" because, after checking, he knew it had been shoot in Sevran and not in Clichy...
http://www.france5.fr/asi/007548/10/129834.cfm (Article in French)
Anyway, they just announced 5 policemen have been suspended.

P.S. May be you could precise on your post: police tirs flash ball.

hey Im french too.. living in Paris.. (nice area, not in the subebrbs... so I didnt see anything of all this) but what I do know is that the cops never shoot to people if there isnt a good reason. also, there arent a lot of cops nor a lot of gangsters/what ever you call them.
So its really no big deal.

its just because it was filmed that we're making a big deal out of it.

Its of course nothing compared to the real Riots that occured a almost a year ago...

cheers.

You have so many problems in Your country with actions like this... Paris - the world capital of love haha...

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