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Paris riots spill into second night after police officer shot teenager at traffic stop

Emmanuel Macron has condemned a second night of violence across the country as ‘unjustifiable’.

Riots first broke out on Tuesday after a 17-year-old boy named only as Nahel M was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

Macron said ‘the whole nation’ is moved after the killing, which he described as ‘unexplainable and inexcusable’. Demonstrations grew more violent last night, with 150 people arrested as around 2,000 police officers and gendarmes sought to keep control of the streets. Nahel’s devastated mother, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I lost a 17-year-old, I was alone with him, and they took my baby away from me. ‘He was still a child, he needed his mother.’

A marche blanche – a peaceful protest procession in memory of someone who has died – has been organised for later today.

The police officer who killed the boy has been detained on homicide charges as an investigation is carried out.

The legal situation facing the police officer who shot Nahel M on Tuesday morning is a bit complex, so you would be forgiven for being confused.

On the same day of the shooting, the officer – who is aged between 38 and 40 years old – was taken into custody for manslaughter.

An investigation was also opened by the IGPN, the French police disciplinary body, into 'voluntary homicide by a person holding public authority'.

But this morning, the public prosecutor for Nanterre announced the officer now faces criminal charges for voluntary homicide, with a formal judicial investigation launched.

The officer reportedly says his actions were carried out in self-defence.

Meanwhile, an investigation into Nahel remains open, for allegedly resisting arrest.

Emmanuel Macron has tweeted about last night's violence, reiterating that the unrest is 'unjustifiable' as the crisis shows no sign of dissipating.

He wrote: 'Violence against police stations, schools, town halls, against the Republic, is unjustifiable.

'Thank you to the police, gendarmes, firefighters and elected officials who mobilized.

'Meditation, Justice and calm must guide the next few hours.'

It has also just been announced that French prime minister Elizabeth Borne will visit the town of Garges-les-Gonesse, where a police station was burned down last night.

The Nanterre public prosecutor has been giving further updates on Tuesday's shooting incident.

The third passenger, who fled from the car after Nahel was shot, is still missing and wanted by police. The second passenger was briefly detained on Tuesday before being released.

He added: 'The autopsy report mentions a single shot that went through the left arm, then the thorax, from left to right.'

Police checked Nahel's vehicle, but the search 'did not reveal any dangerous objects or narcotics,' he said.

In a speech, the public prosecutor for Nanterre said that after hearing the police and analyzing the videos at his disposal, the justice considered that 'the legal conditions for the use of the weapon do not were not met' when the police officer opened fire on Nahel two days ago.

The prosecutor requested the officer be placed in pre-trial detention, and a judicial investigation for voluntary homicide has been opened.

SThe riots in France may not be happening if it wasn't for a video that was taken of the moment Nahel was shot by a police officer.

Initially, the police said Nahel was driving the yellow car towards them and they felt under threat. The video shows that was not the case.

Fury in the country reached a new level when the footage was released, showing the true course of events. Last night's violence may have been centred on Paris and its suburbs, one of which was the scene of Nahel's death, but pockets of rioting also emerged elsewhere.

As mentioned in this blog a couple of hours ago, there were clashes on the outskirts of Lille.

In the town of Mons-en-Barœul, east of the city in the far north of France, municipal buildings including the village hall, a community centre and the police HQ were all burned.

The town hall in Évreux, north-west of Paris, was also partially damaged by fire, while riots also took place in Toulouse

'French superstar footballer Aurélien Tchouaméni has posted an lengthy and emotional message on social media capturing his reaction to Nahel's death.

The Real Madrid player, who is of Cameroonian descent, tweeted: 'Nahel could have been my little brother. And I'm heartbroken when I hear his mother because it's my mother's voice that I hear.

'We won't rewrite history and we won't change the world on social networks…

'But I would like to understand why for years, young people have been dying during police checks that seem trivial.

Understand why the trigger seems much less heavy when it comes to a certain type of individuals.'

He continued: 'Now what? Social media networks are noisy for a while. Then we resume the course of our lives until another mother, another family wakes up one morning to learn that one of their own is gone.

'If you have a miracle recipe, I am willing to take it. I do not have any.'

You can read his full 'open letter' under the tweet linked below.

The line 6 tram was sitting close to the Georges Pompidou station station when it was set alight, and firefighters were still tackling the blaze early this morning.

BFM TV said several nearby businesses were also seriously damaged. President Emmanuel Macron told ministers during an emergency cabinet meeting that the violence seen on the streets of France last night was 'unjustifiable'.

His comments come a day after Macron described the shooting of Naël M by a police officer as 'unexplainable and inexcusable'.

Footage posted overnight appears to show a group of protesters ransacking a town hall in Lille and setting fire to chairs and documents within.

Good morning and welcome back to our coverage of the unrest in Paris following the shooting of a 17-year-old boy by traffic police.

Here is a recap of last night's developments: France is braced for more protests tonight after the killing of a teenager by police during a traffic stop that President Macron called 'unforgivable.'

'Nothing justifies the death of a young person,' President Macron told reporters in Marseille, calling for 'calm for justice to be done'. He added: 'I would like to express the feelings of the entire nation at what has happened and the death of young Nahel, and to tell his family of our solidarity and the nation's affection.' 'We have a teenager who has been killed. It's inexplicable, unforgivable,' he said, adding that the the case was immediately referred to the courts where he hoped justice would 'do its job quickly'.

French media has been piecing together the life of Naël M, the 17-year-old who was killed in the Paris police shooting yesterday.

While still not revealing his surname, newspaper L'Independant says Naël was a pizza delivery boy in the town of Nanterre, in the outer reaches of the Paris suburbs.

He also played rugby for the Nanterre Pirates through the team's partnership with the group Ovale Citoyen, which aims to promote social inclusion and fight discrimination using sport.

In a tweet, the group wrote: '[Naël] had started an integration process with us. He was going to build a new future.

'More than ever we must invest ourselves to restore a minimum of hope, to believe again in republican equality.'

In an interview with Le Parisien, Ovale Citoyen president Jeff Puech said Naël was 'someone who had the desire to fit in socially and professionally, not a kid who lived off the deal or took pleasure in petty crime'.

'He was a kid who used rugby to get by,' he added, saying the teenager had 'an exemplary attitude, far from the disgusting comments that we can see on social networks'.

President Emmanuel Macron has called for 'respect and calm' in a tweeted statement.

Earlier today he used quite dramatic language to describe the killing as 'unexplainable and inexcusable', adding that 'nothing could justify' the death of Naël M.

In a more measured tweet, he wrote: 'We share the emotion and pain of the family and loved ones of young Naël. I want to tell them our solidarity and the nation's affection.

'Justice was immediately seized.

'Our police and gendarmes are committed to protecting us and serving the Republic. I thank them every day for that. They do so within an ethical framework that must be respected.

'It is up to justice to establish the truth and assign responsibility. I hope that his work can be completed quickly.

'As such, what Nanterre and the nation need is respect and calm.'

GREEN PARTY LEADER: FRENCH POLICE 'BECOMING LIKE AMERICA'S'Green party leader in France, Marine Tondelier, has issued a statement following the incident. 'What I see on this video is the execution by police of a 17-year-old kid, in France, in 2023, in broad daylight', she said. Ms Tondelier added: 'You get the feeling that our police is becoming like America's.' Meanwhile far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon called for 'a complete redesign of the police force'.

Credit: metro


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