Unrest falls on France after police kill 17 y/o delivery driver
The French Ministry of Interior claims that as many as 150 people were detained so far.
The death of 17-year-old Nahel M. at the hands of police in Hauts-de-Seine has left France in unrest as overnight protests roamed the country in all its corners.
Nahel was shot in the chest at point-blank range on Tuesday in the western region of Paris after he was pulled over for breaking traffic rules in a yellow Mercedes. His mother called for a march on Thursday in tribute to her only child.
The French Ministry of Interior claimed that as many as 150 people were detained so far, as cars and garbage bins were set ablaze to block off roads.
French President Emmanuel Macron said during an official visit to Marseille: "A teenager was killed. That is inexplicable and unforgivable".
On Thursday, Macron called an early morning crisis meeting of his ministers and urged calm. He branded the overnight clashes "unjustifiable" and told the meeting the "last few hours have been marked by scenes of violence against police stations, but also schools and town halls... against institutions and the Republic."
'A bullet in the head'
Initially, police reported that an officer shot the 17-year-old because he was allegedly driving at him. However, a circulating authenticated video shows otherwise: two police officers standing by the side of the stationary car, and one pointing a weapon at the driver.
A voice is heard saying: "You are going to get a bullet in the head", after which the officer fires as the car suddenly drives off.
Explosion de colère d'un des ambulanciers qui a conduit le corps de Nael, 17 ans, tué ce matin par la police, par un tir à bout portant. À aucun moment on ne le voit mettre en danger la vie des policiers. #Nanterre #LaPoliceTue pic.twitter.com/RoeuThDWyR— ⏚ Cerveaux non disponibles ⏚ (@CerveauxNon) June 27, 2023
The officer who was filmed shooting is now in custody and remains under investigation for voluntary manslaughter.
Nahel's lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, confirmed that an additional complaint for false testimony will be filed over the allegation that Nahel tried to ram the police officers.
Additionally, there were two teenagers in the car with Nahel but after the gunshot, one ran off, while the other was briefly detained.
The incident caused outrage in the world of fame as well. Kylian Mbappe, captain of the French men's national football team and star player at Paris Saint-Germain, posted on Twitter: "I am hurting for my France".
J’ai mal à ma France. 💙🤍💔💔💔— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) June 28, 2023
Une situation inacceptable.
Tout mes pensées vont pour la famille et les proches de Naël, ce petit ange parti beaucoup trop tôt.
One unnamed government advisor told AFP that "there are all the ingredients for another explosion potentially."
Commenting on the incident, Greens Party leader Marine Tondelier said: "What I see on this video is the execution by police of a 17-year-old kid, in France, in 2023, in broad daylight".
However, far-right leader Marine Le Pen claimed that the police officer was entitled to the "presumption of innocence".