Multi-Night Riots Erupt in Paris Suburb Following Police Shooting

French Police officers patrol in Paris on November 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (Photo credit should read STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Paris suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne has been rocked by several nights of rioting and violence against police officers following the shooting of a man who attacked motorcycle police on Friday.

The initial incident that sparked the riots involved a man who was detained at a routine traffic stop and attempted to flee, hitting police with his vehicle. The officers then opened fire on the man who was shot in the elbow, leg, and hip before being arrested in neighbouring Gennevilliers, Le Parisien reports.

On Saturday night, the neighbourhood of Caravelle erupted into violence as police and firefighters were attacked with projectiles after being dispatched to deal with fires in the area. The riots came largely in response to a video of Friday’s incident circulated on social media, which shows police firing their firearms at the fleeing car.

On Monday night, the rioting continued with more fires being lit and a bus attacked with projectiles. The rioters managed to smash the windshield of the bus during the violence.

Several videos of the rioting were also circulated on Twitter, showing rioters shooting off fireworks.

Deputy mayor of Villeneuve-la-Garenne Abdel Ait Omar released a statement on Tuesday saying that he had visited the man who had been shot and claimed that he had come from a good family and is not known to have a criminal past. 

Omar identified the man shot as “young Boubacar”, a name originating from West Africa and believed to be an adaption of the Arabic name Abu Bakr. 

The deputy mayor said Boubacar was shot 10 times by the officer and called for an investigation, saying: “One thing is certain: self-defence, which is not proven in this case, rings in the head of some officials like the freedom to kill.”

Rioting once again sparked up on Tuesday night leading to the arrest of nine “youths”, six aged 14 to 17 and three aged 22 to 24. The youths were part of a group that attacked a tram line and three buses with projectiles.  

The riots are just the latest to occur in Paris and its notorious, heavily migrant-populated suburbs, or banlieues.

Last year, following accusations of police brutality against a young man named Theo, the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois erupted into violence for several weeks.

Earlier this week, a CCTV clip emerged in the Theo case, casting doubt over the young man’s claim that police officers had taken his trousers down and penetrated his anus with a baton.

The video revealed that his loose trousers had fallen down on their own and experts who watched the new footage claimed there was little chance the officer could have targetted the young man’s rectum on purpose during the scuffle. 

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.