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At least 150 arrested following protests in France over fatal police shooting of teenager

todayAugust 12, 2023 5

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At least 150 arrested following protests in France over fatal police shooting of teenager

France’s government has announced the deployment of 40,000 extra police across the country following days of riots after the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy by an officer during a traffic stop.

“The state must be firm in its response, tonight 40,000 police officers will be mobilised, including 5,000 in the Paris region, versus 9,000 yesterday,” said Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

It comes as Pascal Prache, public prosecutor of Nanterre – where the shooting took place and has sparked violent protests nationwide – said the officer is being investigated for “voluntary homicide”.

Two magistrates will lead the investigation into the death of the teenager, who was wounded by a gunshot and died at the scene.

The prosecutor told a news conference on Thursday “the conditions for the legal use of the weapon were not met”, adding he has requested the officer be held in custody.

At least 150 people have been arrested in France following a second night of protests over the killing.

The Paris suburb of Nanterre saw another night of violence on Wednesday as police fired tear gas and protesters threw fireworks at officers and set vehicles ablaze.

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What’s happening in France?

Police forces clash with youths in Nanterre, outside Paris, Thursday, June 29, 2023. The death of 17-year-old Nael by police during a traffic check Tuesday in the Paris suburb of Nanterre elicited nationwide concern and widespread messages of indignation and condolences. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 1,200 police were deployed overnight and 2,000 would be out in force Wednesday in the Paris region and around other big cities to

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Clashes continued in Nanterre into the early hours of Thursday morning

Firefighters surrounded by burning vehicles during clashes between protesters and police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre in France

Vehicles burn during clashes between protesters and police, after the death of Nahel, a 17-year-old teenager killed by a French police officer during a traffic stop, in Nanterre, Paris suburb, France, June 28, 2023. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

Rioters also set fire to buildings, while people took to the streets in other areas of the capital as well.

Unrest was also reported in other areas across France, including in the northern cities of Lille and Amiens, along with Dijon in the east and Toulouse in the south.

The Interior Ministry said dozens of police officers were injured during the clashes.

Youths clash with police forces in Nanterre, outside Paris, France. Pic: AP

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Pic: AP

A policeman fires teargas during clash with youths in Nanterre, outside Paris, Thursday, June 29, 2023. French President Emmanuel Macron has described the killing of a 17-year-old delivery driver by police at a traffic check

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A police officer fires tear gas in Nanterre

Protesters throw fireworks in the Paris suburb of Nanterre in France

Earlier, the government had appealed for calm and said 2,000 police had been mobilised in the capital.

It comes amid accusations of police brutality and growing anger over the death of the youth on Tuesday, named in local reports as Nahel M.

A firefighter extinguishes a burning vehicle during clashes between protesters and police, after the death of Nahel, a 17-year-old teenager killed by a French police officer during a traffic stop, in Nanterre, Paris suburb, France, June 28, 2023. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

Police forces walk past burning cars in Nanterre, outside Paris. Pic: AP

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Pic: AP

Youths clash with police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, France. Pic: AP

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Pic: AP

Those speaking out include French footballer Kylian Mbappe.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, who also captains the French national team and grew up in nearby Saint-Denis, described what happened as an “unacceptable situation”.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the shooting “inexplicable and inexcusable” and called for calm.

“Nothing justifies the death of a young person,” he told reporters.

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Anger on the streets of Paris

Earlier this week, prosecutors claimed the teenager, who was of North African origin, drove through a red light and failed to comply with an order to stop his car.

He later got stuck in traffic and the two officers involved said they drew their guns to stop him from starting his car again.

The officers said they feared for their lives after he threatened to run them over, but that is disputed by lawyers for his family.

They cited a video circulating online that shows two police officers leaning into the driver-side window of his yellow car, before the vehicle pulls away and an officer opens fire.

The car is later seen crashed into a nearby post.

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A protest march in Lille following the fatal shooting of a teenager by police in a Paris suburb

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A protest march in Lille earlier on Wednesday

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March for 17-year-old in France

France’s human rights ombudsman has opened an inquiry into the death.

Meanwhile, in a video shared on TikTok, a woman identified as Nahel’s mother called for a memorial march in Nanterre on Thursday.

“Everyone come, we will lead a revolt for my son,” she said.

His killing was the third fatal shooting during a police traffic stop in France so far this year, after a record 13 last year, a national police spokesperson said.

Written by: Newsroom

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