French protesters clash with security forces over police killing of teen driver

Violent demonstrations erupted for a second night in a row as protesters burned trash and clashed with security forces over the police shooting death of a teenager, leading to 150 overnight arrests, authorities said. French President Emmanuel Macron called crisis talks on Thursday morning.

The 17-year-old victim, identified only as Nahel M., was shot in the chest at point-blank range on Tuesday morning, an incident that reignited debate in France over police tactics that have long been subject to human rights criticism. Organizational criticism. The Treatment of Low-Income Suburban Minorities.

The teenage girl’s mother called for a march Thursday in memory of her only child.

As night fell on Wednesday, clashes spread from neighborhoods around the capital to other French cities including Toulouse, Dijon and Lyon.

Some 2,000 riot police were deployed to Paris and its surrounding suburbs, and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said 150 people had been arrested overnight.

Clashes erupted for a second night in a row in the Haute-Seine department west of Paris, where the shootings took place, as masked demonstrators dressed in black fired fireworks and firecrackers at security forces.

In the working class 18th and 19th centuries area In northeast Paris (area), police fired flash bangs to disperse protesters who were burning rubbish. The crowd responded by throwing bottles.

“We are tired of being treated like this. This is for Nahle, we are Nahle,” said two young men calling themselves “Avengers” as they pushed bins from nearby estates to add to the burning roadblock.

One of them said his family had lived in France for three generations, but lamented, “They will never accept us”.

Graffiti was spray-painted on the walls of one building with the words “Justice for Naher” and “Police kills”.


The government offered a rare criticism of the security forces on Wednesday.

“A teenager was killed. It is inexplicable and inexcusable,” President Emmanuel Macron said during an official visit to Marseille in southern France.

Last year, 13 people were killed for refusing to stop for police traffic checks, and a 2017 law change gave police greater powers to use weapons that are currently under review.

In the Essonne region, south of the capital, a group set fire to a bus after forcing all its passengers off, while a tram was also set ablaze in Clamart, police said.

In the southern city of Toulouse, several cars were burned and responding police and firefighters were hit with throwing objects, while authorities reported similar scenes in Dijon and Lyon, police sources said.

In Fresnes, France’s second largest prison, protesters attacked security guards at the entrance with fireworks, police sources told AFP.

“They did not enter the prison. The police were called shortly thereafter,” the source added.

Cars, shops and libraries were set on fire in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, shops were looted, a police station was attacked and the city hall was vandalized, police told AFP.

Tensions also rose in Roubaix, Amiens and Nice.

In an effort to contain the spreading violence, authorities appealed for calm.

“Hurt France”

The victim was pulled over for violating traffic rules in a yellow Mercedes on Tuesday morning.

Police initially reported that an officer shot the teen as he was driving towards him, but that claim was contradicted by a video circulating on social media and confirmed by AFP.

The video shows two officers standing next to the stationary car, with one pointing a weapon at the driver.

A voice was heard saying, “Your head is going to be shot.”

Police appeared to fire when the car pulled away abruptly.

The victim, Nahel, was a delivery driver from Nanterre and a high school dropout.

He was “not a criminal,” a 55-year-old woman who said she knew him told AFP near his home on Wednesday.

“What I see on this video is that in 2023, the French police executed a 17-year-old in broad daylight,” said Green Party leader Marine Tondelier.

But far-right leader Marine Le Pen said the officer was entitled to “the presumption of innocence”.

The 38-year-old police officer who was filmed shooting to death has been taken into custody and is being investigated for manslaughter.

Naher M.’s attorney, Yassine Bouzrou, said he would file an additional complaint of false testimony against allegations that Naher tried to crush them.

There are two passengers in the car. One of them escaped and the other, also a teenager, was briefly detained.

The stars also expressed outrage.

“I’m hurt for my France,” Kylian Mbappe, captain of the French men’s national football team and star player of Paris Saint-Germain, wrote on Twitter.

(AFP France 24 hours news)

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