Grandmother of Slain French Teen Begs Rioters to Stop Looting and Smashing Businesses

MONTIGNY LE BRETONNEUX, FRANCE - JULY 01: A damaged store is seen following fourth night of unrest triggered by the fatal police shooting of a teenager in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, west of Paris, France on July 01, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(AFP) — The grandmother of the French teenager whose fatal shooting by police has sparked several nights of unrest issued a plea for calm Sunday as the home of the mayor of a Paris suburb was attacked with a burning car in a new flaring of violence.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron has been battling five nights of violent protests since 17-year-old Nahel M. was shot dead in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday by an officer during a traffic check.

The killing of Nahel M, who was of Algerian origin, has revived longstanding accusations of institutional racism within the French police, which rights groups say single out minorities during controls.

Seeking to quell what has become one of the biggest challenges to Macron since he took office in 2017, the interior ministry has for the last two nights deployed 45,000 police and gendarmes nationwide, as well as helicopters and armoured vehicles.

The interior ministry said 719 people were arrested overnight, around half the figure from the previous night but with intense clashes still reported in several places, including the southern city of Marseille, but calmer elsewhere.

“Stop and do not riot,” Nahel’s grandmother, Nadia, told BFM television in a telephone interview, saying that the rioters were only using his death as a “pretext”.

“I tell the people who are rioting this: Do not smash windows, attack schools or buses. Stop! It’s the mums who are taking the bus, it’s the mums who walk outside,” she said.

Politicians condemned the attack on the home of Vincent Jeanbrun, the right-wing mayor of L’Hay-les-Roses outside Paris, in which assailants rammed a burning car into his home with the aim of setting it on fire, prosecutors said.

Jeanbrun’s wife and children, aged 5 and 7, were at home while the mayor himself was at the town hall to deal with the riots. The wife was “badly injured” sustaining a broken leg, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have opened an attempted murder investigation. “Last night the horror and disgrace reached a new level,” the mayor said in a statement.

“The situation was much calmer” overall, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told reporters as she visited L’Hay-les-Roses.

“But an act of the kind we saw this morning here is particularly shocking. We will let no violence get by” unpunished, she said, urging that the perpetrators be sanctioned with the “utmost severity”.

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 30: ATM's are set on fire as people protest against the death of 17-year-old Nahel, who was shot in the chest by police in Nanterre on June 27, in Marseille, France on June 30, 2023. More than 600 people were arrested across France on Thursday as protests over the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old continued for a third night. The protesters set fire to various buildings and vandalized public property, and a number of suburbs and towns in the Parisian region also imposed a curfew. (Photo by Naseer Turkmani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

MARSEILLE, FRANCE – JUNE 30: ATM’s are set on fire as people protest against the death of 17-year-old Nahel, who was shot in the chest by police in Nanterre on June 27, in Marseille, France on June 30, 2023. (Photo by Naseer Turkmani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Some 7,000 police were deployed in Paris and its suburbs alone, including along the Champs Elysees avenue in the capital, a tourist hotspot, following calls on social media to take the rioting to the heart of the city.

The massive police presence helped keep the violence in check, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

“A calmer night thanks to the resolute action of the security forces,” he tweeted early Sunday.

But Paris police chief Laurent Nunez cautioned on BFM television that “No one is declaring victory”.

In Marseille, which has seen intense clashes and looting, police dispersed groups of youths Saturday evening at Canebiere, the main avenue running through the centre of the city, AFP journalists said.

The protests present a fresh crisis for Macron, who had been hoping to press on with the pledges of his second term after seeing off months of protests that erupted in January over raising the retirement age.

Follow Breitbart London on Facebook: Breitbart London


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