France reinforces police deployment after nights of riots

French President Emmanuel Macron announced this Friday a series of measures, including greater police deployment, to stop the riots that have set the streets of France on fire for three nights, but without actually declaring a state of emergency.

Public buildings attacked, shops looted, vehicles set on fire… Many cities, especially in the suburbs of Paris, once again experienced violent nighttime protests, despite the 40,000 police and gendarmes deployed.

At the end of a crisis meeting, Macron, who left a European summit in Brussels on Friday to chair it, announced the deployment of “additional means” from the Interior Ministry to contain the riots.

Violence erupted Tuesday in the suburbs of Paris and spread across France following the death that day of 17-year-old Nahel, shot at point blank range by an agent during a traffic control in Nanterre, west of the capital.

But the balance of the last night is high. The government reported the arrest of 875 people (408 in Paris and its suburbs), the attack on 492 buildings, the burning of 2,000 vehicles and 3,880 fires in the streets, as well as 249 injured agents.

“We will examine all the options with one priority in mind: the return of order,” Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said before the meeting, when asked if they would decree a state of emergency as requested by the right-wing and far-right opposition.

Sébastien Chenu, from the far-right party of Marine Le Pen, requested it again this Friday due to the level of “violence reached”. His ultra rival Éric Zemmour went even further and called on Europe 1 radio for a “fierce repression” against the perpetrators of violence.

The state of emergency allows the administrative authorities to take exceptional measures such as the prohibition to travel, but for the moment it has not been decided to decree it. For the Minister of the City, Olivier Klein, it would be to admit a “failure”.

In 2005, the government of the then-conservative president, Jacques Chirac, took ten days to declare it, in response to riots in the suburbs sparked by the death of two teenagers as they fled from the police.

– Calling the “fathers” –

Macron’s strategy for now calls for the “responsibility” of the “mothers and fathers” of the participants in the riots, many minors, to keep them at home, since the role of the State “is not to occupy its place”.

Read Also:  Officer Seriously Injured in Saturday Night Robbery in Concordia Neighborhood Remains in Intensive Care

And he also urged social networks to remove “sensitive” content linked to this urban violence and identify its users, since “there is a form of imitation of violence that leads some young people to lose contact with reality”.

Last night, several stores in the Les Halles shopping center and in the tourist and commercial Rivoli street, which leads to the Louvre museum, in Paris, were “vandalized”, “looted” or “burned down”, said a senior police officer.

Protesters also attacked police stations for the second night in a rowas in Pau (south-west), town halls, as in Lille (north), or schools, as in Amiens (north).

School parties in secondary schools and high schools were canceled in the area where Nahel died and the public bus and tram service in the Paris region was suspended at night from 9:00 p.m. until further notice.

– UN call –

The events relaunched the recurring debate on police violence in France, where in 2022 thirteen people died in circumstances similar to those of the young man, and raised international concern.

Several European countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway have warned their citizens traveling to France to avoid areas of riots and to exercise caution.

The UN also asked Paris to seriously deal with the “deep” problems of “racism and racial discrimination” in its security forces, especially when part of the population sees them as racist and violent.

The court ordered preventive detention for voluntary manslaughter for the 38-year-old agent who shot, who, according to his lawyer, was “extremely shocked.”

“The first words he uttered were to apologize and the last words he uttered were to apologize to the family” of the victim, lawyer Laurent-Franck Liénard told BFMTV.

Mounia, the victim’s mother, told France 5 that she did not blame the police, but only the agent who took her son’s life, since “she saw an Arab face, a boy, and wanted to take his life “.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here