The demise of police dog Diesel during a police raid in the suburbs of Paris on Wednesday has encouraged a Facebook page and a hashtag. However, the tag’s maker is stating that he did it “to be a little bit funny”.
Police stormed the flat in Saint-Denis to get their hands on the alleged mastermind of Friday’s gun massacre and bomb explosions in Paris, which killed 129 people. During the raid, a women committed suicide by blowing herself up and suspect was shot down. Seven people have been arrested and five officers were wounded during the operation.
The death of Diesel, a 7-year-old Belgian Shepherd when announced by a French National Police triggered huge online reaction as it was retweeted for 15,000 times.
It led to the hashtag, “Je Suis Chien,” (Which literally means “I am dog”) which makes use of the “Je Suis Charlie” solidarity hashtag. The “Je Suis Chien” tag has already made the headlines on almost 130,000 occasions, with messages of grief being pouring in French as well as in English. “Forever thankful to these creatures, “wrote one user.
A Facebook page has also been dedicated to “Je Suis Diesel” which has collected more than 11,000 likes, where users were remorseful over the demise of Diesel. Many have even upload photos of their own pets to pay tribute to Diesel.
There were other “Je Suis Chien” tag users as well who didn’t back down from making sarcastic comments about the dog’s death grabbing widespread attention and created memes- like a hackers group Anonymous, which has pledged to puff air out of so-called Islamic State social media activity, promised retaliation for Diesel’s death.
BBC finally got of 24 year old Ashley, who lives near Paris and was the first one to tweet the hashtag. “I wanted it to be a little bit funny because all the websites were about it,” he says, referring to the importance given to Diesel’s death. “But many are using it seriously.”
Ashley further stated that he made the slogan to poke fun at the proliferation of “Je Suis… “hashtags”. “Every trouble has a hashtag like #JeSuis,” he said. “If an old guy has something wrong, it will be #JeSuisOldGuy”.
However, he does consider the overwhelming response to Diesel’s death as uneven. “The dog is the human’s best friend,” he said. “It was an innocent,” he added. “So a lot of people were disgusted by this”.
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