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French Riots: The Story Behind the Killing of Nehal

The entire nation of France has been going through a riot for the last two days. France has asked all local authorities and government-issued services to halt public transport after 9:00 p.m. local time, Thursday on 30th of June after the violent public demonstrations that have been triggered due to the death of a 17-year-old teenage boy, Nehal.

Over 875 people were arrested overnight Thursday, said France's Interior Ministry. Around 249 police officers have been injured with zero deaths since. 

The current French President Emmanuel Macron has criticized the violent and aggressive nature of the riots, describing it as an "unacceptable situation." This sentence was purposely delivered to describe how the citizens are reacting with the torching of cars, ransacking of local shops, and public infrastructure damage.

In Marseille, a library was vandalized and the cops had to use gas to stop a group of 150 people who allegedly tried to set up barricades. Police and firefighters have been struggling to maintain the protestors and extinguish the fires they caused in schools, shopping malls, brand showrooms, and town halls.


What Led to the Riot?

The riot is a public uprising against the police, accusing them of racism and systematic discrimination in the police force in France. 

Nehal, a 17-year-old teenage boy was shot point-blank on June 27th during a traffic stop in Nanterre. The officer has been accused of manslaughter against the working-class people of France. 

Nehal was asked to pull over for breaking traffic rules as he was driving in the bus lane that could endanger the people on foot and cyclists. The teenager was too young to hold a full driving license, according to the traffic rules of France. Nehal, at last, stopped at the red signal. The officer following him then threatened to shoot a bullet if he didn't turn off the ignition and exit the car. The policeman and his companion drew their weapons in case he fled away in the car. However, the driver pulled away at the point that the officer decided to shoot. This led to the officer, as he states (whose name isn't revealed due to France's legal policies) aiming the gun towards him as a measure for the safety of the people around them. The bullet hit Nehal point blank on his chest and arm. The police officer will face preliminary charges of voluntary homicide for shooting Nahel.

The prosecutor in charge, Mr. Prache, had concluded based on the initial investigation that the "conditions for the legal use of weapons were not met."

UN human rights officer Ravina Shamdasani stated, "We emphasise on the importance of peaceful assembly. Any allegations of inappropriate use of force must be swiftly investigated." 

Nehal's death has instigated public grievances about policing and racial profiling in France's low-income and multi-ethnic suburbs.

The government would consider "all options" for restoring order, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told reporters. She called the violence "intolerable and inexcusable" in a tweet.

A funeral is going to be held on Saturday for Nehal.

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Tags: #france #police #racism #nehal #nehalriots #publicaggression #frenchriots


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