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Violent protests continue to rock France over police killing of 17-year old

The boy, identified as Naël, was killed during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

• June 29, 2023
Protesters clash with police in Nanterre
Protesters clash with police in France [Photo: Poitout Florian/ABACA/Shutterstock]

No less than 180 people have been arrested in efforts to contain the violent demonstrations which have broken out in France since the police unjustly killed a 17-year-old teenager who allegedly committed a traffic offence on Tuesday. 

The boy, identified as Naël, was killed during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. 

The teenager’s death was widely condemned, but the protest was fuelled by age-long mistrust and anger against the police in many poor urban communities. 

The violence was worsened when it came to light that anonymous police sources who spoke to French news media had lied about the facts of the incident, claiming that the deceased had ploughed into officers during the stop. 

A video of the incident refuted the officers’ assertion that the shot was fired in self-defence by demonstrating that no officer was in immediate danger while the deceased moved the car. After viewing the footage, local prosecutors concluded that the grounds for using the weapon had not been followed and requested that the officer be detained.

France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, has condemned the incident and the violent protest that followed, which have seen cars and government buildings, including police stations, burnt down. 

While Mr Darmanin assured that the officer involved would be suspended from work, he condemned the destruction as “intolerable violence against symbols of the Republic.”

The attorneys for Nal have also announced their intention to file multiple charges against the two officers engaged in the incident. They intend to bring three lawsuits: one accusing the cop who fired the shot of murder, another of collaboration, and a third of lying in their initial statements about the incident.

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