Man Spits at French Police Officers, Calls Them ‘Dirty Whites’

Police officers wearing a face mask stand guard in front of the Nantes railway station, on
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

A man in Montpellier, France, spat at police while claiming to have the Chinese coronavirus, calling the officers “dirty whites”.

The incident took place at around 6:40 pm at the Comédie tram station on Sunday. Police were called to the location to investigate reports that a man was harassing passengers. When police arrived to determine if the suspect were intoxicated, he immediately became violent.

The 31-year-old grabbed one of the officers by the neck and spat in the face of another while telling them he had coronavirus, Metropolitain reported this week.

He then called the third officer a “dirty white man” and yelled at police that he was a member of the Kouachi family, referencing the two brothers who killed a dozen people at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the January 2015 terror attack.

After being brought into custody the man kept insisting his last name was Kouachi, but officers later identified him as he was already known to police. He also attempted to dismiss some of his comments as “humour”.

The incident mirrors a similar case during the early days of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. In March, a court handed a woman in Longjumeau a seven-month sentence for calling police “dirty whites”, spitting on them, and saying: “I hope you will all die of Covid. ”

France is not the only country to see spitting attacks during the pandemic. In May in Belgium, no-go area youths were accused of spitting on the door handles of police vehicles to spread the disease.

The youths were also allegedly members of the “white vests”, a group that was supposedly trying to raise awareness about coronavirus to young people in the notorious Molenbeek area of Brussels.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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