Massive protests erupted in Paris for the second consecutive night after a 17-year-old boy was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the violent protests as unjustifiable while the city of Paris continues to experience unrest.
The protests were sparked by the death of a teenager of North-African origin, Nahel M, who was shot at point-blank range by a police officer. The incident occurred when the teenager refused to comply with a traffic stop and drove away. The police officer is currently under investigation for voluntary homicide as prosecutors allege that he failed to follow the order to stop the car.
Unrest and Arrests
The Paris suburb of Nanterre witnessed violent protests for the second consecutive night, with demonstrators shooting fireworks at police officers and setting cars ablaze. Over 150 people have been arrested so far in connection with the protests. The protests have extended beyond Paris, with sporadic violence reported in Amiens, Dijon, St Etienne, Lyon, and the city of Toulouse.
President Macron chaired a crisis meeting in response to the violent protests and deemed them unjustifiable. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin stated that the protests involved “a night of unbearable violence against the symbols of the republic,” including burned or attacked town halls, schools, and police stations. To maintain order, approximately 2,000 riot police have been deployed to suburbs around Paris, where protesters have targeted the police, torched cars, and set public buildings on fire.
Public Outrage and Legal Action
The incident has sparked public outrage, prompting the family of the deceased teenager to file a legal complaint against the officers involved. The complaint accuses the officers of homicide, complicity in homicide, and false testimony. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne expressed her concern, stating that the shooting “seems clearly not to comply with the rules.” A minute of silence was observed in the French National Assembly in memory of the teenager.
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