Barbaric Behaviour

Athlete alleges police brutality
Fromm correspondents in Paris
March 21, 2006

FORMER world heptathlon champion Eunice Barber has claimed police brutality, two days after she was alleged to have bitten officers who arrested her.

Barber said through her lawyer she could lodge a formal complaint for the brutality of her arrest which, she claimed, continued as she was being transported in a van to the police station.

“Several police officers carried out their questioning of my client in a particularly brutal manner,” said her lawyer, Emmanuel Daoud.

“She (Barber) was hit by several police officers as she lay on the ground and was handcuffed.”

The lawyer added that Barber, who competes for France but was born in the Africa country of Sierra Leone, was at the time accompanied by her mother and a one-year-old nephew.

Barber was held overnight at a police station here after she allegedly bit two officers.

She was released on Sunday although she could be recalled to the courts to answer charges on biting the police officers. Her lawyer meanwhile said she could lodge a formal complaint.

“Given the behaviour of some of the poice officers present Eunice Barber has retained the right to lodge a formal complaint with the police and judicial authorities,” said Daoud

. Barber won the world heptathlon title in 1999, the world long jump title in 2003 and finished second in the heptathlon in 2003 and 2005.

Ex-champion Barber to sue French police for brutalityReuters Internet Delivery System
Track and Field News Wire

By Julien Pretot

PARIS, March 24 - Former heptathlon world champion Eunice Barber intends to sue several police officers for brutality after she was held for questioning in Paris last week.

Barber was driving her car near the Stade de France on Saturday when police forced her to stop. The French athlete’s mother and nephew were also in the car.

“They put me in the black maria (police van). There, two women stepped on my hands and on my head. They told me: ‘do you believe you could behave like this in Africa ?’”

“They told me ‘you are lucky that there are people looking otherwise we would have done much worse. When you get out of here you’ll need crutches’.”

Barber burst into tears as she told her story at a press conference at the office of her Parisian lawyer, Emmanuel Daoud.

Daoud said he was going to contact the district attorney and would use all the means at his disposal to make sure an investigation was opened.

Barber, wearing a neck brace, said she still felt shocked.

“I took a left turn while the officer indicated for me to turn right. But I didn’t understand what he was wanting from me,” she said.

"He then banged on my car. I scrolled down the window and he slapped my face. I got out of the car and more officers showed up.

“One twisted my hand and another one pulled my hair. They then threw me on the ground.”

On Friday, French sports daily L’Equipe published a picture taken by an anonymous local resident showing four policemen kneeling to keep Barber on the ground while four others watched the scene.

Barber denied she had acted in a provocative way. She stressed the officers did not know who she was until they arrived at the police station.

“When they realised who I was they started to be kind,” she said.

Barber complained to the police internal affairs department on Wednesday. The officers involved have given a totally different story about the incident, she said.

“I’m finding it kind of hard to think about athletics right now,” the 31-year-old said.

Barber won the heptathlon world title in 1999 and was silver medallist in Paris in 2003 and in Helsinki last year. Heptathlon is a seven-discipline event.

She also clinched the long jump world crown three years ago and the bronze medal in 2005.

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This story is from’s automated news wire

What the hell!!! If her story is true then those police should be tortured in an Iraqi Prisoner Camp! :mad: Or better yet, let them act as the puddle of water in a steeple-chase! :stuck_out_tongue: