France Riots: France has witnessed a surge in violent incidents involving young protesters, who have clashed with law enforcement and engaged in looting. These events have created mounting pressure on President Emmanuel Macron, following the alleged police killing of an unarmed teenager. The President, acknowledging the deteriorating situation, appealed to parents to keep their children off the streets and highlighted the role of negative social media influence in exacerbating the circumstances.
Who Was Nahel?
Nahel was an only child who was raised by his mother. He also played rugby league and delivered takeout. He was accepted to a college in Suresnes, close to where he lived, to pursue a career as an electrician, according to BBC. Nahel, a guy of Algerian heritage, lived in Nanterre with his mother Mounia, and was well-regarded. His track record of attending class wasn’t stellar. He had no criminal record, but the cops knew about him.
What caused the riots in France to start?
The spark that started the riots was the unfortunate death of Nahel during what was intended to be a routine safety check. A police officer can be seen leveling a gun at the car’s driver before firing a shot in a widely circulated video of the incident. The car hits something and comes to a stop. Nahel died from gunshot wounds to the chest.
After Nahel, 17, was shot and killed by a policeman, protests broke out in Nanterre for two nights and eventually spread to nearby communities. The officer is accused of firing fire on the child as he attempted to flee the crime scene in an apparent act of self-defense. Police sought to pull over Nahel because he appeared to be fairly young and was driving a Mercedes with Polish license plates in a bus lane. According to Pascal Prache, the prosecutor in Nanterre.
According to reports, he ran a red light to avoid being stopped, which put him in a jam. Prache’s preliminary investigation determined that the police officer’s use of his weapon was not legally justified. As a result, the officer was first charged with voluntary homicide. Preliminary charges have been brought by investigating magistrates who have a strong suspicion of impropriety. However, they need to be investigated further before the case is tried.
How far-reaching are the France riots?
To disperse the protesters’ barricades, flames, and fireworks, police fired tear gas, water cannons, and shock grenades. Officials report that 200 police officers have suffered injuries. The government of Macron has dispatched 40,000 police officers to restore order. Ordering arrests for behavior he deemed “unacceptable and unjustifiable.”
Numerous other French towns and cities also saw rioting. In Brussels, the Belgian capital, where the unrest had spread, twelve people were taken into custody and numerous fires were extinguished. In several Parisian neighborhoods, individuals and groups have thrown fireworks at security forces.
The cause of violent riots
Following Nahel’s death, French anti-racism organizations voiced their displeasure with police behavior generally once more. Debating race was outlawed for a long time in France, which is formally committed to the idea of colorblind universalism. This agreement, according to certain organizations that are speaking out more frequently, hides systematic racism and discrimination.
Last year, 13 persons who refused to cooperate with traffic stops were slain by French police. Nahel was one of three people who died in identical circumstances this year. There have been calls for greater justice in France following the shooting death of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer. Additionally, there have been protests there against racial inequity.