July 7, 2023

Youth revolted in France after police shot 17-year old boy

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July 2, Marseille, France. Rioters set fire to a parking lot filled with brand new vehicles.

Picture by: {Matt} $XRPatriot | Twitter

A boy, who has been identified as Nahel, was driving in his car when two officers came up to him during a traffic stop.

Footage from a passer-by shows that one of the officers dispatched his gun at Nahel, without any obvious threat to his safety. During the investigation, the officer claimed he was afraid that the boy would run someone over with the car and felt the need to shoot.

The prosecutor, Pascal Prache, stated that in his opinion the use of the weapon by the officer was illegal. The officer had been placed under formal investigation on charges of voluntary homicide, and detained.

Before the boy’s funeral in Nanterre, protests erupted all across France. The protests had premises of race discrimination by the police as well as police brutality in general, as the victim of the shooting was of Algerian and Moroccan heritage.

Even though Nahel’s mother explicitly told television station France 5 that the only person to blame for the situation was the officer accountable for the shooting, the protests flared up as many believed that the case resulted from the police discriminating against minorities in France.

Over the course of last week, violent riots have wreaked havoc in Paris and its suburbs. The protesters burned cars, vandalised police stations and even let animals from the Paris Zoo out. Rioters have torched 2,000 vehicles since the start of the unrest.

According to the Minister of the Interior Gerald Dermanin, more than 200 police officers have been injured with the average age of the arrested persons being 17 years old.

On Saturday night, many residents of the French suburbs called for the protesters to condemn the violence and Nahel´s grandmother joined them saying “People who are destroying, I tell them ‘stop’. They are using Nahel as an excuse.”

At the end of the week, on Sunday, the riots eased significantly. The President of France Emmanuel Macron hosted a meeting with the mayors of towns where the riots took place and assured them that the violence was subsiding.

Though the issue itself is still up in the air. Especially considering how a fundraiser was created to raise money for the officer who shot Nahel. It topped 1.47 million euros on July 4, far out-paying donations to Nahel´s family. The fundraiser was started by Jean Messiha, a far-right media personality.

The head of France’s main employers´ organisation calculated the estimated costs of the repairs after the riots, it is said to surpass 1 billion euros, citing 200 looted shops and the vandalisation of 300 bank branches.

It is believed that the unrest revived memories of 2005, when deaths of two teenagers running from the police set off weeks of protests.

Written by:


Sofiya Tkachenko

former Editor-in-chief

Kyiv, Ukraine | Vienna, Austria

Born in 2006, Sofiya is originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, but now, because of the war, she has relocated to Vienna, Austria. She is interested in writing about culture and politics, especially the current situation in Ukraine and the world as a whole, but is planning on studying Biology in Vienna next year. 

Sofiya joined Harbingers’ Magazine as a contributor in the spring of 2022. A few months later, she took on the role of the social media and the Harbingers’ Weekly Brief newsletter editor. After half a year, her devotion and hard work promoted her to the position of editor-in-chief of the magazine – in September 2023, she took the helm from Sofia Radysh, who stepped down having completed her one-year term.

In her spare time, Sofiya organises charity poetry events and is working on multiple projects regarding the promotion of Ukrainian culture in Europe.

She speaks Ukrainian, English, Russian, and a bit of German.



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