More Than 1,300 Arrested in France as Riots Intensify Over Teen Killing
The country is still dealing with a wave of protests and unrest following the fatal shooting by a police officer of a 17-year-old Algerian teen in Nanterre, France. This marks the fourth straight night of violence and mayhem.
Overnight, the situation significantly worsened, leading to a staggering number of arrests, various acts of violence, and extensive property damage in numerous cities. According to the French Ministry of Interior, 1,311 people were detained nationwide between the hours of Friday and Saturday.
The ministry additionally stated that 79 police and gendarmes were hurt during the clashes, adding that these figures are merely preliminary.
The number of arrests and injuries is indicative of the severity of the ongoing crisis as well as the anger and frustration that the public is experiencing in the wake of the tragic death of the teen.
The extent of the protests’ damage is concerning because shocking videos showing acts of violence and devastation have surfaced. According to a statement from the ministry, 234 buildings were burned or vandalized, while 1,350 vehicles were set ablaze.
A startling total of 2,560 fires were reported on public streets at the same time.
The ministry also recorded 11 gendarmerie barracks attacks, 16 municipal police station attacks, and 31 attacks on police stations.
The French government had already sent out 45,000 police officers and gendarmes to deal with the deteriorating situation. However, despite these initiatives and repeated cries for calm, the protests have only grown larger and more intense, which has resulted in an unprecedented number of arrests and incidents.
Conflicts and violence have been seen in French cities, and they are a reflection of the long-standing resentments and grievances that a sizable portion of the population has after the tragic death of the young man.
Long-standing problems with social and racial inequality in the nation, as well as police brutality, were brought to the fore.