France is bracing for further protests after police shot dead a teenager, an incident which French President Emmanuel Macron said has “moved the entire nation”. Clashes broke out between demonstrators and police overnight after an officer killed the 17-year-old in a Paris suburb, Nanterre.
According to an article from Al Jazeera, the teenager, identified as Nahel M, allegedly failed to comply with a police order to stop his car. He was driving a rental car when police pulled him over for breaking several road rules, prosecutors said. A video circulating on social media, authenticated by the French news agency AFP, shows two police officers trying to stop the vehicle, with one pointing his weapon at the driver through the window and firing at close range when he apparently continues to drive. (Al Jazeera, 2019) Local residents held a protest outside the police headquarters.
According to a statement from the French government officials, the images are shocking and distressing. The government is calling for calm, talking about an investigation. Parisian residents are reportedly frustrated due the fact that they have have seen incidents like this over the past year and a half with more than thirteen people have been killed in traffic stops and checks. Preliminary charges of voluntary homicide were filed against the officer accused of pulling the trigger, though that has done little to quell the rioting that has spread across the country and led to hundreds of arrests. The officer said he feared he and his colleague or someone else could be hit by the car as Nahel attempted to flee, a prosecutor has said.
Note: Jacob Davis is the coeditor of CSMS Magazine.