A group of mostly migrant protesters clashed with police in Madrid Thursday and Friday, with demonstrators setting fire to trash bins and parked vehicles after the death of an African migrant who witnesses claim was trying to flee from cops cracking down on illegal street sales.
At least six people were arrested – including a minor – while 19 others were injured after protesters hurled rocks and blunt objects at police. Bus shelters, police vehicles and bank branches also sustained extensive damage, El Pais reported.
A police spokesman told the newspaper 10 officers sustained minor injuries.
The unrest was sparked after Mmame Mbaye, a 35-year-old street vendor from Senegal, died Thursday after going into cardiac arrest, police said.
Several witnesses reported seeing Mbaye collapsing after being chased by police officers on motorcycles. First responders arrived to the scene and attempted to revive him.
Protesters, the majority of them migrants, told AFP that Mbaye had arrived to Spain 12 years ago via boat and worked as an illegal street vendor, sending some of what he earned back to his family.
"Municipal police arrived and chased him from Sol to Lavapiés with a motorbike," Modou, a 25-year-old vendor from Senegal told AFP. “In the end, he died here.”
Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena said there will be an investigation into the incident.
“I deeply regret the death of a citizen in #Lavapies. From City Hall we will investigate thoroughly what happened and act accordingly,” she wrote on Twitter. “All my solidarity with [his] friends and family.”