Nahel’s grandmother calls for end to violence on streets

A brief video recorded by a bystander showed that the police’s initial description of the 17-year-old’s murder was untrue.

After a sixth night of urban riots brought on by the death of her grandson, Nahel, a 17-year-old teenager who was slain by a police officer in Nanterre on Tuesday, his grandmother on Sunday made an appeal for peace.

“I say to the people who are breaking things up: stop. Don’t break windows, don’t smash up schools, don’t smash up buses. Stop it, they’re mums on buses, they’re mums walking outside”, urged Nadia, Nahel’s grandmother, interviewed on BFMTV.

“We want these young people to be left alone. Nahel is dead. My daughter had just one child, she’s lost, it’s over, my daughter has no life left. And they made me lose my daughter and my grandson.”

During a police check on the rental automobile Nahel was driving last Tuesday near the Nanterre-Préfecture RER station by two police motorcycles, Nahel passed away.

At point blank range, one of the officers fired on the boy, striking him in the chest and killing him.

The shooting’s perpetrator claimed that the teen’s failure to comply was a justification for his actions, but an amateur video refuted this claim, upsetting even the highest levels of government and igniting the biggest riots France had seen in years.

Since Tuesday, many young people in working-class neighborhoods around the nation have been fighting with the police, ransacking public buildings, and robbing stores as a way to express their rage at the state and the police.

“I’m angry at the two policemen, because there were two of them, who hit my grandson in the head with two rifle butts, and at the one who shot him directly in the heart, he could have shot him in the leg, in the arm”, said the grandmother.

“In this case, it’s his life they’ve taken away”, she stressed, shocked by online fundraising for the benefit of the policeman who fired the fatal shot.

“My heart aches. He took my grandson away from me. This man has to pay, like everyone else. Those who are breaking the law and beating up police officers will also be punished. I have faith in justice. I believe in justice”, she said.

The 38-year-old police officer who fired the fatal shot was arrested on Thursday and charged with culpable homicide.

In the presence of his mother, grandmother, and a large crowd of other people, Nahel was buried on Saturday at the Mont-Valérien cemetery in Nanterre.

Read Also: Calls for Justice on French Streets Echo Across Europe

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