A tear gas canister is seen in the street outside the Toulousouse courthouse after the riots on Thursday, February 23, 2018.
The court in the southern city of Toulon declared the trial of four men accused of attacking a woman during a riot in March 2017 to be a “witch hunt” and called on the government to step up efforts to combat racism.
The men face trial for the attack in Toussaint, a Paris suburb, in November 2016.
Prosecutors have charged them with terrorism-related offenses.
Toulois prosecutor Philippe-Jean Manchet said in court that the police had not responded adequately to the protests.
“They used tear gas and water cannon, they hit us, and they used this excuse of the witch hunt,” he told reporters.
“It’s an abuse of power.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that France would “never tolerate racism, xenophobia, discrimination or xenophobia.”
In an interview with RTL radio, he said he wanted the case to be “open, transparent and fair”.
“I want the French to understand that racism is not something to be ashamed of,” he said.
“Racism is not only the expression of racism but also of a lack of respect for human dignity.”
In February, France’s main television channel TBS showed footage of a riot at the Parisian town of Toussin, which saw more than 1,500 people arrested after police fired tear gas into the crowd.
The prosecutor’s office said it was not aware of any arrests in Toudoussin.
“The riot is clearly shown to be part of a larger movement against the regime of the police,” prosecutor Philippe Mancourt said in a statement.
“Today’s actions against the Tousssins are the result of a growing anti-democratic reaction by the people.”