| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

France: Mayors call for anti-riot rally amid relative calm, lower arrests

The interior ministry announced on Monday that over 150 individuals were arrested overnight throughout France in relation to the violent protests that erupted following the killing of a 17-year-old teenager by a police officer during a traffic stop. In the meantime, French mayors have urged public and elected officials to organize a rally against the nearly week-long riots. As signs of the unrest subsiding start to appear, there have been fewer arrests and a decrease in violence.
There was a relative calm overnight after five nights of violent protests with the interior ministry reporting the lowest number of arrests made in the last few days. This comes after more than 700 arrests the night before and over 1,300 on Friday night.
The government deployed up to 45,000 police officers onto the streets across the country overnight on Sunday to quell the unrest. The unrest follows the fatal shooting of Nahel, a 17-year-old teenager of North African descent, on Tuesday, by a police officer at a traffic stop.

Three police officers were also wounded, said the ministry. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin reported that a 24-year-old fireman died while trying to douse burning vehicles in an underground car park north of Paris, however, it was not immediately clear if the incident was related to the protests. He added that “an investigation is underway,” to determine the circumstances of the burning vehicles.
In a statement, on Monday, an association of the country’s mayors said that “everywhere in France are the scene of serious unrest, which targets republican symbols with extreme violence.” This also comes a day after an attack on conservative mayor Vincent Jeanbrun of L’Hay-les-Roses’ home outside Paris.
According to reports, assailants rammed a car lit on fire into his home in a supposed bid to set the house on fire. The move has since been condemned by lawmakers across the spectrum including the left-wing politicians in France.

The incident reportedly occurred when Jeanburn’s wife and children (aged five and seven) were at home while the mayor was at the town hall dealing with the ongoing violent protest situation. The prosecutors said that his wife’s leg was “badly injured” and has also sustained a broken leg, adding that have since opened an attempted murder investigation.

  • Wions