France braces for more violence after riots over police shooting

PARIS: France said on Friday the coming hours would be decisive after three nights of riots since a police officer fatally shot a teenager at a traffic stop in the working-class suburb of Washington. Paris.
Violence has brought down the President Emmanuel Macron fell into the most serious crisis of his leadership since the Yellow Vest protests that began in 2018.
Unrest has flared across the country, including in cities such as Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg and Lille as well as Paris, where 17-year-old Nahel M., of Algerian and Moroccan descent, was shot. Tuesday at nanterre suburban.
His death, captured on video, has sparked longstanding complaints in poor, multiracial urban communities about police violence and racism.
“The next hours will be decisive and I know I can count on your impeccable efforts,” Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin wrote to firefighters and police officers trying to extinguish the fire. unrest broke out after nightfall.
He asked local authorities to halt bus and tram traffic from 9pm (1900 GMT) across France. The government has said that all options will be considered to prevent unrest.
With about 40,000 police deployed, more than 200 of them were injured and 875 were arrested Friday night, authorities said. Buildings and vehicles were burned, and shops were looted.
Although the worst of the violence has so far been confined to the city’s suburbs, any sign that violence is spreading into the heart of France’s biggest cities will mark the end of the world. significantly escalate.
A local official said looters ransacked stores including an Apple store in the eastern city of Strasbourg on Friday. A source told Reuters that several Casino supermarkets had been looted.
At the Chatelet Les Halles shopping center in central Paris, a Nike shoe store was broken into and several people were arrested after the windows of stores along the adjacent Rue de Rivoli shopping street were smashed. , the police said.
Events including two concerts by a French singer at the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris have been cancelled. Tour de France organizers say they are ready to adapt to any situation as the race gets underway on Monday after kick-off in the Spanish city of Bilbao.
In the southern city of Marseille, France’s second-largest, authorities banned Friday’s protests and encouraged restaurants to close outdoor areas early. They say public transport will stop at 7pm
Macron left the European Union summit in Brussels early to attend a second cabinet meeting on the crisis in two days. He has asked social media to remove the “most sensitive” footage of the riots and reveal the identities of users who incite violence.
For Mohamed Jakoubi, who watched Nahel grow up as a child, the fury was fueled by a sense of injustice in the suburbs following incidents of police violence against ethnic communities. minority, many from former French colonies.
“We are fed up, we are also French. We are against violence, we are not scum,” he said.
Macron denies there is systemic racism in law enforcement agencies.
Videos on social media showed the urban landscape on fire. A tram was burned in the eastern city of Lyon and 12 buses were destroyed at a depot in Aubervilliers, north of Paris.
In Nanterre on the outskirts of the capital, protesters set fire to cars, barricaded streets and hurled bullets at police after an earlier peaceful vigil.
The energy minister said several employees of the electricity distribution company Enedis were injured by rocks during the clashes. The Interior Ministry said 79 police stations were attacked overnight, as well as 119 public buildings including 34 town halls and 28 schools.
Some tourists expressed concern, others supported the protesters.
“Racism and problems with police and minorities is an important ongoing topic and it is important to address it,” American tourist Enzo Santo Domingo said in Paris.
Some Western governments warn people to be cautious.
In Geneva, the United Nations human rights office stressed the importance of peaceful assembly and called on French authorities to ensure that police use of force is non-discriminatory.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said: “It is time for the country to seriously address the deep-seated problems of racism and racism in law enforcement.
The officer who prosecutors say admitted to firing a fatal shot at the teenager is being held for formal investigation for attempted murder – the equivalent of being charged by precincts Anglo-Saxon jurisdiction.
His lawyer, Laurent-Franck Lienard, said his client aimed the driver’s leg but was hit, prompting him to shoot himself in the chest. “Clearly (the police) don’t want to kill the driver,” Lienard said on BFM TV.
The unrest revived memories of three weeks of nationwide riots in 2005 that forced then-President Jacques Chirac to declare a state of emergency.
That wave of violence erupted in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois following the deaths of two young men who were electrocuted in a substation as they evaded the police.


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