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Hundreds arrested as France rocks after third night of violent protests over police shooting of teen

French President Emmanuel Macron was to chair a new ministerial crisis meeting on Friday after three nights of nationwide protests. Police shooting of teenage boy I saw cars set on fire, stores looted, and hundreds arrested.

France’s interior ministry said 875 people were arrested overnight from Thursday to Friday following Thursday’s march in memory of a 17-year-old boy identified only by his first name. His death revived long-standing complaints about police crackdowns and racial profiling in France’s low-income, multi-ethnic suburbs.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Thursday called “rare violence” that night, with the ministry saying 249 police and gendarmes were injured, none seriously.

French police shooting
Police stand among firecrackers on the third night of protests sparked by the shooting of a 17-year-old driver by police in the French suburb of Nanterre on June 30, 2023.

Aurélien Morrisal/AP

About 40,000 police and gendarmes have been deployed in several cities, along with elite raids and GIGN units, curfews have been imposed in municipalities around Paris, and public gatherings have been banned in Lille and Tourcoing in northern France. A ban was issued.

Violence and damage were reported in several areas, despite extensive security deployments. Police sources said Thursday’s unrest was marked more by looting of stores, including Nike and Zara flagship stores in Paris, than by heavy fighting between protesters and law enforcement. It is said that it was

Local authorities said public buildings were also targeted, with Molotov cocktails attacking a police station in the Pyrenean city of Pau and setting fire to a primary school and district office in Lille.

The Elysée newspaper announced that Mr Macron would cut short a trip to Brussels, where he was attending a European Union summit, to chair a crisis conference on violence. This is the second such emergency meeting in the past few days.

“I’m not blaming the police. I’m blaming a person.”

shook the france night-long protests Nagel was shot at point-blank range during a traffic stop on Tuesday and captured on video.

“I’m not blaming the police. I’m blaming one person, the one who took my son’s life,” Nehel’s mother Mounia told France 5 channel in her first media interview since the shooting. .

He said the 38-year-old police officer responsible, who was detained and charged with spontaneous murder on Thursday, “saw the face of an Arab, a small child, and thought of taking his life.”

As is customary in French criminal cases, the names of the police officers were not made public.

A march led by Mounia ended with riot police firing tear gas in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, where several cars were set on fire.

Bus and tram services in Paris were suspended after 9pm local time on Thursday as part of measures to restore calm, the region’s president said.

But the measures and increased security seem to have done little to deter Thursday night’s riots.

APTOPIX French police shooting incident
Demonstrators drive on the night of the third day of protests sparked by the police shooting of a 17-year-old driver in Nanterre, France, on June 30, 2023.

Aurélien Morrisal/AP

Local officials said a brawl erupted nearby in central Marseille as police used tear gas to disperse a group of 100 to 150 people who were said to have demolished a library and set up barricades.

Several public buildings were also targeted in the Seine-Saint-Denis district of the Paris metropolitan area, according to police sources.

In the suburbs of Drancy, rioters used trucks to break open the entrance to a shopping center, looting and setting some on fire, police sources said.

Meanwhile, firefighters in the northern city of Roubaix ran from fire to fire throughout the night, and a hotel near the train station was also hit by fire, with more than a dozen residents fleeing into the streets.

An AFP reporter said tensions rose around midnight in Nanterre, the epicenter of the riots, as fireworks and explosives were set off in the Pablo Picasso neighborhood where Nehel lived.

The government is desperate to avoid a repeat of the 2005 urban riots that led to the death of two African-American boys in police pursuits and the arrest of 6,000 people.

Macron called for calm and said the violence of the protests was “unjustified”.

The riots were a new challenge for the president, who was trying to weather the largest protests in a generation sparked by the riots. Controversial National Retirement Age Raise.

“It’s time for the country to get serious about the deep-seated problem of racism.”

Nehel died after being pulled away from police who tried to stop him for a traffic violation.

A video authenticated by AFP showed two police officers standing by a parked car, one of them pointing a weapon at the driver.

A voice can be heard saying, “I’m going to get a bullet in my head.”

After that, the car suddenly started running, and the police seemed to open fire.

The clashes first erupted when a video was released that contradicted police accounts that a teenage boy was driving towards them.

The officer’s attorney, Laurent Franck Liénard, told BFMTV late Thursday that his client apologized when he was taken into custody.

“The first words he said were sorry and the last words were sorry for his family,” said Lynnard.

The attorney said his client was disappointed and “devastated,” but said he did what he thought was necessary at this time, according to the Associated Press. “He doesn’t get up in the morning to kill people…he really didn’t want to kill people.”

Earlier Thursday, Nanterre prosecutor Pascal Plache said the prosecution “does not believe the legal conditions for the use of weapons” by the officer who fired the shot were met.

UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on Friday that the protests were “a time for the country to seriously address the serious issue of racism and discrimination in law enforcement”.

“We also stress the importance of peaceful assembly,” Shamdasani said. “Any allegations of undue use of force must be promptly investigated.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/protests-in-france-hundreds-arrests-third-night-fatal-police-shooting-nahel-nanterre/ Hundreds arrested as France rocks after third night of violent protests over police shooting of teen

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