Funeral held for teenager killed by police

The funeral of Nahel, the teenager killed in a fatal police shooting on Tuesday, has started in the Paris suburb of Nanterre where he lived.

A large crowd has gathered at the local cemetery and the atmosphere is tense, a reporter from Agence France-Presse observed.

One mourner said:

We aren’t part of the family and didn’t know Nahel but we were very moved by what has happened in our town. So we wanted to express our condolences.

A young man who declined to be named but said he was a friend of Nahel’s told Reuters:

If you have the wrong skin colour, the police are much more dangerous to you.

Key events

An academic has called for a discussion of the structural causes of the violence that has erupted in France after the killing of a 17-year-old boy by police.

Ariane Basthard-Bogain, a lecturer in French and Politics at Northumbria University, told France 24:

What we’ve seen over the past few days is a lot of discourse about law and order, about restoring order, about how awful this violence is.

What we haven’t heard is a discussion of the structural causes of all of this and a long-term solution from it by the authorities.

So it’s very much framed as a violent uprising but what we really need to focus on is why it was created in the first place.

Here are some of the latest pictures of the damage caused in the city of Marseille on the fourth night of violence in France.

A cleaning contractor shifts debris next to a damaged window of a Caisse d’Epargne bank in the centre of Marseille
A cleaning contractor shifts debris next to a damaged window of a Caisse d’Epargne bank in the centre of Marseille. Photograph: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP/Getty Images
Riot officers guard a Sephora outlet in Marseille.
Riot officers guard a Sephora outlet in Marseille. Photograph: Frederic Munsch/SIPA/Shutterstock
Looting of Sephora and various other shops took place in Marseille overnight.
Looting of Sephora and various other shops took place in Marseille overnight. Photograph: Frederic Munsch/SIPA/Shutterstock

Funeral held for teenager killed by police

The funeral of Nahel, the teenager killed in a fatal police shooting on Tuesday, has started in the Paris suburb of Nanterre where he lived.

A large crowd has gathered at the local cemetery and the atmosphere is tense, a reporter from Agence France-Presse observed.

One mourner said:

We aren’t part of the family and didn’t know Nahel but we were very moved by what has happened in our town. So we wanted to express our condolences.

A young man who declined to be named but said he was a friend of Nahel’s told Reuters:

If you have the wrong skin colour, the police are much more dangerous to you.

After further violence last night authorities in Marseille have announced that transport will stopped at 7pm local time.

Public events have also been cancelled or postponed, including the city’s Pride festival that was due to take place later today.

Nahel’s mother, identified as Mounia M, has spoken out and said she is angry with the officer who shot her son, but not the wider police force.

Associated Press reports that she told France 5 television:

He saw a little Arab-looking kid, he wanted to take his life.

A police officer cannot take his gun and fire at our children, take our children’s lives.

Placards against police violence seen during the fourth day of protests following the death of 17-year-old Nahel by police in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris.
Placards against police violence seen during the fourth day of protests following the death of 17-year-old Nahel by police in Nanterre, on the outskirts of Paris. Photograph: Telmo Pinto/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

The southern port city of Marseille was again the scene of clashes and looting overnight.

At around 2am, Marseille police said they had made 88 arrests overnight of often masked and “very mobile” young people accused of looting or attempting to loot.

A major fire “linked to the riots” broke out in a supermarket, a police source told Agence France Presse.

Police said that looters also broke into a gun shop and took weapons.

City mayor Benoit Payan tweeted:

In Marseille, the scenes of looting and rioting are unacceptable.

People inspect a damaged shop following a night of looting and rioting in Marseille, France, 01 July 2023. EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
People inspect a damaged shop following a night of looting and rioting in Marseille, France, 01 July 2023. EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER Photograph: Sébastien Nogier/EPA

France experienced a fourth consecutive night of unrest as riots, looting and vandalism continued in response to the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy by police during a traffic stop.

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Burning garbage bins and vehicles could be seen in cities across the country as fireworks were fired towards police and buildings.

The interior ministry said that more than 1,300 people were arrested

France reels under fourth night of unrest triggered by fatal police shooting – video

More than 1,300 arrested in fourth night of unrest

More than 1,000 people were arrested in the fourth night of unrest, as family and friends prepare to bury the 17-year-old fatally shot by police.

Associated Press reports that France’s interior ministry said that 1,311 people were arrested as protesters once again clashed with police.

The government deployed 45,000 police around the country to try to stop the violence.

Despite an appeal to parents by President Emmanuel Macron to keep their children at home, street clashes between young protesters and police raged on.

About 2,500 fires were set and stores were ransacked, according to authorities.

As we reported in the post below, the funeral of Nahel, the boy who died on Tuesday, is set to take place early this afternoon.

Firefighters extinguish fires in rubbish bins in France on 1 July.
Firefighters extinguish fires in rubbish bins in France on 1 July. Photograph: Urman Lionel/ABACA/Shutterstock

The funeral of Nahel, the boy who died in a fatal police shooting on Tuesday, is set to take place early this afternoon, according to reports.

It will be in Nanterre, in the western suburbs of Paris, where the teenager was from, and will begin with a visitation, to be followed by a mosque ceremony and then burial, Associated Press reports.

In a press release, Nahel’s family urged journalists not to come and appealed for calm ahead of the funeral.

A pedestrian walks past graffiti which reads as ‘justice for Nahel’ on a wall at Place de la Concorde in Paris on 1 July.
A pedestrian walks past graffiti which reads as ‘justice for Nahel’ on a wall at Place de la Concorde in Paris on 1 July. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

What has Macron said about the riots?

French president Emmanuel Macron has described the violence erupting after the death of the 17-year-old boy as “unacceptable and unjustifiable.”

He has so far stopped short of announcing a state of emergency, a tactic used by a previous French government in 2005 to quell rioting after the deaths of two boys while they fled police.

On Friday, he urged French parents to keep teenagers at home, proposed restrictions on social media and blamed videogames for the rioting.

Macron said his government would work with technology companies to establish procedures for “the removal of the most sensitive content.” He did not specify the content he had in mind but said, “I expect a spirit of responsibility from these platforms.”

French authorities also plan to request, when “useful,” the identities “of those who use these social networks to call for disorder or exacerbate the violence,” the president said.

Associated Press reports that Macron said a third of the individuals arrested Thursday night were “young people, sometimes very young,” and that “it’s the parents’ responsibility” to keep their children at home.

We sometimes have the feeling that some of them are living in the streets the video games that have intoxicated them.

Last night, the French football team urged an end to the violence.

“The time of violence must give way to that of mourning, dialogue and reconstruction,” the team said in a statement posted on social media by their captain, Kylian Mbappé.

The team added they were “shocked by the brutal death of young Nahel” but asked that violence give way to “other peaceful and constructive ways of expressing oneself”.

Vandalism and looting continue in France amid protests over police shooting of boy – video report

How did the riots start?

The unrest flared nationwide after Nahel M, a 17-year-old of Algerian and Moroccan descent, was shot by police on Tuesday during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb. His death, caught on video, has reignited longstanding complaints of police violence and racism.

The 38-year-old officer involved in the shooting, who has said he fired the shot because he feared he and his colleague or someone else could be hit by the car, has been charged with voluntary homicide and placed in provisional detention.

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Nahel is due to be buried in a ceremony later today, according to the mayor of Nanterre, the Paris suburb where he lived and was killed. The family’s lawyers have asked journalists to stay away, saying it was “a day of reflection” for Nahel’s relatives.

Mayor Patrick Jarry said:

There’s a feeling of injustice in many residents’ minds, whether it’s about school achievement, getting a job, access to culture, housing and other life issues … I believe we are in that moment when we need to face the urgency [of the situation].

A map showing where Nanterre is

Analysis: police tactics questioned after latest killing

Jon Henley

Jon Henley

The fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy of north African descent during a police traffic stop in a Paris suburb, and the four consecutive nights of violence and rioting it has triggered, have once more thrown a spotlight on France’s policing structures and methods.

The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) on Friday became the latest international organisation to criticise French policing, saying the shooting was a “moment for the country to seriously address the deep issues of racism and racial discrimination in law enforcement”.

The OHCHR spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, said authorities should ensure that the use of police force “always respects the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, non-discrimination, precaution and accountability”.

The death of the teenager, identified as Nahel M, was the third fatal shooting by police during traffic stops in France in 2023. There were a record 13 such shootings last year, three in 2021 and two in 2020. Most of the victims since 2017 have been of black or Arab origin, reinforcing claims by rights groups of systemic racism within French law enforcement agencies.

“We have to go beyond saying that things need to calm down,” said Dominique Sopo, the head of the campaign group SOS Racisme. “The issue here is how we to ensure we have a police force that, when they see blacks and Arabs, don’t tend to shout at them [but] use racist terms against them and in some cases shoot them in the head.”

Beyond an institutional racism common in many police forces, French policing has a tendency to violence that has been highlighted by groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Council of Europe. Police truncheons, teargas grenades, rubber bullets and larger “flash balls” have inflicted extensive physical injuries during demonstrations.

Long a taboo subject, French policing – seen by many critics as instinctively repressive and favouring disproportionate force – has become a major political issue, particularly since the gilets jaunes protests of 2018 and 2019 in which an estimated 2,500 protesters were injured, several of whom lost eyes or limbs.

Here are some images from. the unrest overnight:

Protesters destroy the window of a shoe shop in Bordeaux.
Protesters destroy the window of a shoe shop in Bordeaux. Photograph: Ugo Amez/SIPA/Shutterstock
Police stand guard during clashes in Lyon.
Police stand guard during clashes in Lyon. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images
A protester walks by a burning car during clashes with police in Le Port, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.
A protester walks by a burning car during clashes with police in Le Port, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. Photograph: Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters extinguish a burning bus in Nanterre.
Firefighters extinguish a burning bus in Nanterre. Photograph: Mohammed Badra/EPA

Nearly 1,000 arrested overnight

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Nearly 1,000 people in France were arrested and 80 police injured during a fourth night of unrest triggered by the fatal police shooting of a teenager, but officials claimed the situation was calmer than on the previous night.

Forty-five thousand police officers, including special forces, were deployed to respond to rioting across the country on Friday night, with the situation in two major cities – Marseille and Lyon – highlighted as particular chaotic, with buildings and vehicles torched and stores looted.

The ministry of the interior reported 994 were arrests made throughout France overnight, while 79 police and gendarmes were injured and 2,560 fires on public roads recorded. Despite this, the ministry said the protests were “of a lower intensity compared to the previous night”.

More than 80 arrests were made in Marseille, according to the interior ministry, and “significant reinforcements” were sent after the mayor, Benoit Payan, called on the national government to immediately send additional troops.

“The scenes of pillaging and violence are unacceptable,” Payan tweeted late on Friday, after police clashed with protesters.

Rioters will not win, says minister

Welcome to our live coverage of the ongoing unrest in France, which flared nationwide after Nahel M, a 17-year-old of Algerian and Moroccan descent, was shot by police on Tuesday during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb.

His death, caught on video, has reignited longstanding complaints of police violence and racism.

Nearly 1,000 people were arrested and 80 police injured during the fourth night of protests.

Forty-five thousand police officers, including special forces, were deployed to respond to rioting across the country on Friday night, with the situation in two major cities – Marseille and Lyon – highlighted as particular chaotic, with buildings and vehicles torched and stores looted.

However, officials claimed the situation was calmer than on the Thursday night.

France’s interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, met with police in the early hours of Saturday and denounced the “unacceptable violence in Lyon and Marseille” where public demonstrations were banned and public transport halted.

“It’s the republic that will win, not the rioters,” he said.

We’ll bring you the latest updates throughout the day.




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