France descended into a second night of mayhem as riots spread from Paris to other cities following the shooting death of 17-year-old French-Algerian Nahel M., who prosecutors say was driving without a license and has a long juvenile history of crimes.
As Remix News reported yesterday in a video segment, a police officer discharged his firearm at Nahel as the suspect was attempting to speed away from a police stop, with the incident caught on film. Although the officer was arrested and charged, the incident sparked widespread riots in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. However, the second night saw far more violence, with multiple police stations, cars, city halls, and prefectures torched across the country as shocking footage of the riots continued to spread throughout social media.
The French press is labeling it the worst violence since 2005.
On the second night of violence, well over 150 people were arrested, dozens of police were injured, and at least 40 cars were burned.
In another clip, a row of police cars is reportedly burning in the city of Nelly Sur Marne.
In another video, rioters scream “Allah Akbar” before setting a flipped car on fire.
Rioters attacked police stations and other establishments with firework mortars, looted stores, and even took apart ATM machines with chainsaws. A 15-minute video compilation of the riots has been posted by Reconquest politician Damien Rieu, which showcases some of the most violent scenes of the riots so far.
French President Emmanuel Macron is being criticized for failing to ensure law and order in the country and regaining control of the volatile migrant suburban neighborhoods where most of the rioting is taking place.
Macron, however, addressed the rioters, saying they were “unjustifiable.” “There have been acts of violence in the past few hours against a police station, schools, city halls, so against the institutions of the republic. These acts are totally unjustifiable, and I want to thank all those who worked overnight – as the night before – to protect these institutions and bring back calm.”
However, at the same time, some interpreted Macron’s response to the original incident as assigning sole blame to the officer before a trial had even begun.
“There have been very strong emotions (during the cabinet meeting), as a 17-year-old young man died in brutal circumstances. These are emotions that we share with the family, friends, neighbors, close ones, and of course the entire country, because he was 17 years old. The interior minister said that a criminal investigation has been started. As I talk, one policeman is in police custody, with an investigation underway for culpable homicide.”
Besides violence, there were also reports of looting, with some of it caught on film, for example in Sarcelles, where local residents were filmed entering stores and taking goods.
Far-left parties, such as La France Insoumise, have been supportive of what they describe as “protests,” saying the shooting was proof of police violence and racism.
However, National Rally parliamentary leader Marine Le Pen has condemned their stance and said it was only exacerbating the riots.
“A power that abandons all constitutional principles for fear of riots, contributes to aggravating them. A political party, the La France Insoumise, is clearly calling for disorder and violence,” she wrote on Twitter. She added in another tweet that “Our country is getting worse and worse, and the French are paying the terrible price for this cowardice and these compromises.”
She also said in an interview with BFMTV that “behind this dramatic event, there is the problem of the authority of the police: The police are no longer respected, are no longer obeyed, and we see this type of indiscipline multiplying, which can have very serious consequences.”
International media outlets, such as the BBC, have failed to mention that the suspect was wanted by police for previous incidents involving driving without a license and resisting arrest.