France protests ease after weekend riots over police shooting of teen - The World News

France protests ease after weekend riots over police shooting of teen

Paris — Protests rocked France over the weekend as unrest sparked by the fatal shooting last week of an unarmed 17-year-old boy by police in a Paris suburb continued. It was quieter Sunday night, but more than 3,300 people have been arrested, over 1,000 buildings damaged and some 700 police officers injured in rioting since the fatal encounter on June 27.

French officials said 157 more people were arrested overnight, but that was a significant drop from the more than 700 arrests reported the previous evening amid violent clashes between police and protesters across the country.  

The riots spread along with allegations of institutional racism in the police force after the fatal shooting of French-Algerian teenager Nahel on Tuesday.

Demonstration asking for justice for Nahel in Marseille
Police take security measures as people gather to protest against the death of 17-year-old Nahel, who was shot in the chest by police in Nanterre on June 27, in Marseille, France, July 1, 2023.

Naseer Turkmani/Anadolu Agency/Getty

In the southern port city of Marseille, protests turned ugly as rioters launched fireworks at police, torched vehicles and looted stores. Police responded with tear gas and attempts to charge down the protesters.

The federal government deployed around 45,000 officers in towns and cities every night over the weekend.

In one Paris suburb, rioters rammed a burning vehicle into the local mayor’s home in the early hours of Sunday. His wife and two young children had to escape over a garden wall.

Funeral held for French teen fatally shot by police as violent protests continue


The funeral of Nahel took place Saturday in Nanterre, the same Paris suburb where he was stopped by police for speeding last week. Video shows his car moving off as an officer points his gun into the vehicle. One shot is heard before the car rolls to a stop not far away. Nahel died at the scene.

The officer who pulled the trigger has been placed under formal investigation for murder, and the public prosecutor in Nanterre has said that based on an initial investigation, the officer’s use of his weapon did not appear justifiable under French law.

Nahel’s grandmother, speaking to French TV over the weekend, appealed for calm amid the chaos over the weekend.

“They should stop,” she urged. “Stop breaking store windows, stop hitting schools, and buses — we take the bus, we don’t have cars… These people need to calm down.”

President Emmanuel Macron was to meet with senior lawmakers Monday to discuss how the situation got so out of control.

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