| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

77 people arrested in France as violent protests continue over fatal shooting of teenager

For the second day in a row, France remained in a state of unrest as a significant number of additional security forces were dispatched nationwide to deter the outbreak of violent demonstrations, which were triggered by the police’s fatal shooting of an African teenager.
At least 77 people have been arrested in France even as around 2,000 riot police have been deployed to suburbs around Paris.

Videos going viral on social media purportedly showed angry mob torching cars and ransacking shops on Wednesday.

Mobs rampage in suburbs around Paris
Le Monde newspaper reported that the mob remained uncontrolled in Nanterre, the suburb of Nahel, that police had to partially withdraw.

In Paris, protesters were seen attacking police stations with fireworks.
In the northern city of Lille, the agitators clashed with police. A video clip shared online showed people inside the town hall of the Mons-en-Barœul suburb setting documents and chairs alight.

Whereas in the western town of Rennes, around 300 people gathered to pay tribute to the 17-year-old.

What happened?
The deceased, identified as Nahel M. from the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, was pulled over by two policemen for violating traffic rules while driving a yellow Mercedes on Tuesday morning.

Initially, the cops reported that an officer had shot at the teenager because he was driving his car at him, but it was later contradicted by a video circulating online and authenticated by many media channels.

The clip shows the two policemen standing by the side of the stationary car, with one pointing a weapon at the driver.

A voice is heard saying “You are going to get a bullet in the head.”

The police officer then appears to fire as the car abruptly drives off.

President’s rare criticism of police
The incident drew a rare rebuke from President Emanuel Macron who called the shooting of Nahel “unforgivable”.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told parliament that the operation “was obviously not in line with the rules of engagement for police”.

The remarks from Macron drew the ire of the police unions, who accused him of rushing to judge the officers involved.

The Alliance Police union called for them to be presumed innocent until found guilty, while the rival Unité SGP Police also spoke of political interventions that encouraged “anti-cop hatred”, reports BBC.

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