That weekend a force of two hundred police officers faced off against a marauding army of youths threatening to set fire to a bakery. The resulting clash of molotov cocktails answered with tear gas grenades ended with four police officers shot by the youths, and no arrests being made.
This weekend saw a hopeful follow-up to that grim battle, as an assembled force of three hundred police officers descended on the neighborhood to make arrests, based partially on having identified suspects in video footage taken by security cameras at the bakery.
Translated from Le Parisien:
18 individuals were arrested this morning during a vast police operation in the city of Grande-Borne, near Grigny and Viry-Châtillon (Essonne), where in early March five police officers were wounded by shotgun blasts...Different details are available from Le Figaro:
At six am, 160 police officers, supported by two companies of CRS [riot police] also comprising 160 men, penetrated this city where on March 2 police from the departmental Section for intervention ["Section départementale d'intervention", SDI] and the anti-criminality Brigade (Bac) were wounded by shotgun blasts following an attack on a bakery.
Fifteen people -- five minors and ten youths aged 18 to 22 -- were arrested Monday morning during a vast police operation...The article says the operation was without incident, comparing it to the studied calm maintained during the deployment of the larger troop surge of 1,000 police a few weeks before, dispatched to the notoriously sensitive Parisian suburb of Villiers-le-Bel.
Of the forty arrests made during that earlier February expedition, so far 19 people have been charged for taking part in violent rioting back in November of 2007.
Both incursions were assisted by anonymous witnesses contacting police with leads.
It's astonishing that conditions in these neighborhoods have gotten so out of control that the police feels troops are needed on such a massive scale in order to arrest these bands of thugs. Imagine the cost of these operations...