Violent protests have erupted across France following the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old during a traffic stop in Nanterre, a Parisian suburb. The officer involved in the shooting is under investigation and has been placed in custody.
The incident has sparked outrage and led to confrontations between protesters and police. Almost a thousand of people have been arrested, and hundreds of officers have been injured in clashes with angry crowds.
French President Emmanuel Macron left the EU summit in Brussels and canceled his press conference, heading instead to a government crisis meeting on the ongoing unrest in France.
French Minister Delegate of Cities and Housing Olivier Klein said that the French authorities do not exclude the introduction of a state of emergency due to the unrest.
In response, the French interior minister has deployed 40,000 police officers to maintain order and prevent further violence. The police chief in Nanterre has publicly stated that the use of a weapon in the incident that led to the 17-year-old’s death was not justified, leading to a murder investigation.
The protests have already had significant consequences on the affected towns and cities. Burned cars, damaged buildings, and debris are visible signs of the unrest that has unfolded.
Protesters in France may be holding rifles supplied to the Kiev regime by the United States last summer. According to Le Figaro, protesters have already opened fire on police officers in Lyon, seven police officers suffered gunshot wounds.
“Two modified large-calibre rifles by Accuracy International were seized from the rioters. The same rifles were supplied to Ukraine last summer,” the paper said.
At the same time, the situation in France continues to deteriorate. According to BFMTV, 1,311 people were detained on Friday night into Saturday, 406 of them in the capital. Some 2,400 people have been detained since the unrest began. As for property damage, the Interior Ministry counted 2,560 fires in public places, 1,350 cars set on fire and 234 buildings. Footage shot over Marseille, which is shrouded in black smoke from the fires, has gone around the world.
«Nous sommes en guerre» («We are at war») claim French police unions – Alliance Police Nationale and Unsa Police. They press the government for tougher repression.
In a military-inspired press release, the police call for tougher crackdowns to “keep the country safe from the harm of wild hordes.” Threatening text to get more repressive means and to advance a bit the already brutal offensive launched by the government. “Faced with these wild hordes, asking for calm is no longer enough, it must be imposed,” the text explains.
While the state has mobilized 40,000 police officers with the support of security units BRI, GIGN and RAID, police unions are trying to increase their pressure even more.
The position taken is indicative of the hesitation at the top of the state between the initial desire to avoid a fire, embodied in Macron’s first reaction or declaration of a desire to disband the French police, and the need for Macron to restore “order” as soon as possible.
This pressure, illustrating the weakness of the government, is supported by the police. They threaten: “Today the police are fighting because we are at war. Tomorrow we will be in resistance, and the government will have to realize this.”