Outrage sweeps France following teenager’s fatal police shooting
National outrage ensues in France following the lethal police shooting of a 17-year-old teenager, reportedly of African origin, during a traffic stop in Paris earlier this week.
The incident has provoked violent protests nationwide for two consecutive days, with law enforcement resorting to deploying tear gas and rubber bullets in confrontations with the protestors. As seen in circulating videos, an onslaught of thrown projectiles and attempts at concealing identities with masks marked these encounters.
Tension escalated in the Parisian outskirts, where the young boy was killed, as marchers clashed violently with law enforcement. Social media was flooded with videos showing riotous mobs torching cars and looting shops. The surge of public unrest led to the arrest of at least 150 people nationwide, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
The deadly shooting of Nahel M, a delivery driver from Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris, was reportedly the result of a traffic rule violation. Although initial police reports suggested that the fatal shot was fired in response to the teenager driving towards an officer, an online video contradicting these accounts has raised concerns.
Authenticated by multiple media outlets, the video depicts a police officer threatening and eventually shooting at Nahel, who was in a stationary car at the time.
President Emmanuel Macron denounced the incident as “unforgivable”, while Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne criticized the police’s handling of the situation as a breach of protocol. However, these comments provoked criticism from police unions, who accused the political figures of prematurely condemning the involved officers.