Grenoble: 65 Vehicles Burned After Several Nights of Riots

This picture taken on March 5, 2019 shows two burnt cars in the street where riots sparked last night, for the third night in a row, following the death of 2 young people on a scooter as they were chased by the police on March 2, in Grenoble central-eastern France. …

Around 65 vehicles were burned in one night after a series of riots in the French city of Grenoble following the death of two youths being pursued by police over the weekend.

The riots began on Saturday night following the deaths of two teenage boys, aged 17 and 19, who were being pursued by police after they failed to stop at a checkpoint.

The pair were riding a scooter without a helmet and were involved in an accident as a result of the pursuit that took their lives, Le Figaro reports.

Rioting on Saturday night went well into Sunday morning and saw 30 to 40 people attempt to storm police barracks in the Mistral district and several cars were also set on fire.

On Sunday night more fires were lit in the Mistral district with police cordoning off the neighbourhood. By 11:30 pm, around 13 cars were set on fire including vehicles belonging to the local government.

The mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, called for an end to the violence saying, “I call for calm and not to add urban violence to this tragedy,” while promising a full investigation.

The call for calm was ignored Monday night and violence increased substantially with videos emerging on social media showing individuals throwing Molotov cocktails from the roof of a large residential building.

Populist National Rally MP Gilbert Collard posted one of the videos on Twitter remarking, “This night in Grenoble the rioters of the Mistral district attempted to kill policemen and firefighters with a Molotov cocktail to ‘avenge’ the accidental deaths of two fugitive delinquents on a motorcycle.”

The rioting also spread across the city Monday and a total of 65 vehicles were alleged to have been burned. Only one arrest was made by police Monday night, the suspect taken into custody for throwing stones and rocks at police officers.

The riots echo the 2005 Paris that also started when two young men were killed after being pursued by police. The 2005 riots lasted for weeks, eventually spreading across France.

More recently, the city of Nantes saw multi-night riots last year after police fatally shot a 22-year-old who also tried to avoid a checkpoint.

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


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