On Thursday, thousands of French people took to the streets of Nanterre to protest the death of 17-year-old teenager Nahel, who was killed by a police officer who shot him in the chest during a traffic check.
The Prosecutor’s Office formally charged the policeman with voluntary manslaughter and he is currently under provisional detention. Meanwhile, in this Paris suburb, the streets woke up littered with anti-police graffiti and the remains of cars on fire.
During the last two nights, the situation in Nanterre has been very tense as hundreds of young people kept protesting and launched fireworks against the police and public buildings.
Although the memorial march started peacefully, anti-riot officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd as people approached the Prefecture. Then they violently confronted the citizens.
The tweet reads, “In the city of Nanterre, where a peaceful march was organized to pay tribute to Nahel, who was killed by a policeman during a traffic control, the situation has become quite tense. The police are lashing out.”
Interior Ministry spokesperson Camille Chaize acknowledged that the march had started peacefully; however, she justified the actions of the police by stating that the protesters had set fire to several vehicles and urban furniture such as containers.
During the march, which was organized by Nahel’s mother, who carried a banner with the slogan “Police Kills,” thousands of people chanted phrases such as “Killer Police” and demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
Politicians from the La France Insoumise (LFI) party, such as Raquel Garrido, Clementine Autain, Alexis Corbiere, and Manon Aubry, were present at the march. The presence of Fabien Roussel, the secretary of the French Communist Party (PCF), was also notable.
The tweet reads, “Scandal: The police guard the Nahel white march. When the procession arrived in front of the Nanterre Prefecture, near the place where Nahel died, the police massively launched tear gas against the white march.”
During the initial investigations, the police officer who killed Nahel claimed that he had used his weapon because he believed that the teenager posed a threat to him and his partner.
However, videos recorded by witnesses showed that even a potential escape of the vehicle would not have endangered the police officers. In fact, the videos demonstrate that the officer made threats and racist insults before shooting the young man.
In the last 24 hours, over 180 people have been arrested during riots accompanied by the burning of schools, police stations, courthouses, and vehicles. In an attempt to contain the situation, the Interior Ministry has decided to deploy 40,000 agents to the streets.