Two Nights of Fresh Riots in French Town After Death of Teen Motorcyclist

A firefighter stands in front of a burning car during a demonstration against the French government's proposed labour reforms on March 31, 2016 in Nantes, western France. Fresh strikes by unions and students are being held across France against proposed reforms to France's labour laws, heaping pressure on President Francois …

Fresh riots have raged for two nights in the French commune of Argenteuil after an 18-year-old local died after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

The urban violence broke out on Sunday night when rioters set cars and garbage bins on fire, also vandalising several bush shelters. The violence began in the evening, carrying on into the night until 2:30 in the morning on Monday when police were able to restore order after dispersing rioters with tear gas.

Violence again broke out Monday night with Molotov cocktails thrown, seeing cars and street furniture burnt, according to a report in Le Figaro.

The violence was sparked by the death of a local 18-year-old man who lost control of his motocross bike in the vicinity of a police vehicle on Saturday evening. While initial investigations have not found the officers chased the teen and caused the accident, which led to his death, the man’s family have filed a complaint against the police, France Bleu reports.

“Expertise in accidentology has already been drawn up. The first conclusions confirm the absence of a collision between the police vehicle and the motorcycle,” the local prosecutor said.

Police officers who witnessed the crash say the teen approached them at high speed but moved to the narrow sidewalk where he was unable to avoid a lampost.

Images of the violence were posted to social media platforms such as Twitter showing youths attacking police officers in the area with fireworks. This common tactic is often used during riots in “vulnerable” no-go zones.

The riots come just weeks after areas across France saw attacks on police and riots for several days straight following the death of another French youth who was in a motorcycle accident in the Paris suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne. Again, it was claimed police forced the crash which led to the death.

Despite the strict Wuhan coronavirus lockdown measures in place at the time, the riots saw a school partially burned down, a Molotov cocktail attack on a building housing a police station, and several incendiary device attacks on both police and firefighters.

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


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