Kylian Mbappé and other prominent French footballers have expressed outrage over the shooting of a 17-year-old delivery driver during a police check on the outskirts of Paris.
“I am hurting for my France,” Mbappe, who grew up in the Paris suburb of Bondy, tweeted on Wednesday, complete with a heartbroken emoji. “This is an unacceptable situation. All my thoughts are with Nair’s family and loved ones who passed away too early for this little angel.”
The death drew national attention and sparked riots in several towns. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 31 people were arrested, 25 police officers were injured and 40 vehicles were burned during the nighttime riots.
Tensions centered on the suburb of Nanterre, where the lawyer said the teenager, Naël M., was killed during a traffic check on Tuesday. The officer who allegedly shot him has been taken into custody and faces potential manslaughter charges, according to the Nanterre prosecutor’s office.
J’ai mal à ma France. 💙🤍💔💔💔
This situation is unacceptable.
All my memories are from home and the family process, this is a beautiful little angel.
— Kylian Mbappe (@KMbappe) June 28, 2023
Another France international, Mike Maignan, took to Twitter to express his sense of injustice.
“Shots in the head… people who make mistakes always end up dead,” he wrote.
Une balle dans la tête…C’est toujours pour les memes qu’être en tortduct à la mort. Pour Naël, pour sa maman🕊️☝🏾 https://t.co/pnyWerSDFv
— Magician Mike Magnum (@mmseize) June 28, 2023
Maignan’s France team-mate Jules Conte criticized media coverage of the teenager’s death.
“As if the latest police blunder wasn’t enough, 24-hour news channels are taking advantage of this to make a fuss,” he wrote. “‘Reporters’ asking ‘questions’ with the sole purpose of distorting the facts, criminalizing victims, and exposing looking for extenuating circumstances. An age-old method of masking real problems. Why don’t we turn off the TV and see what’s going on?”
Dammanin said 1,200 police officers had been deployed overnight and 2,000 would be dispatched on Wednesday around the Paris region and other major cities “to maintain order”.