France protests: Funeral held for teenager after police detain more than 1,300 over riots

Paris, France

A tense environment lingered in Nanterre on Saturday following the funeral of a French teenager who was fatally shot by police within the Paris suburb earlier this week.

Arrests continued to mount with more than 1,300 folks detained Friday in a single day into Saturday and one other 121 folks arrested Saturday throughout the fifth evening of nationwide protests in France after the 17-year-old’s loss of life, in keeping with the French Interior Ministry.

Family and associates gathered Saturday afternoon native time for the funeral service at a mosque in Nanterre. The funeral was solemn and quiet, in keeping with CNN’s crew on the bottom, with folks ready in silence for his coffin to depart the mosque and be taken for burial. The teenager has been buried within the Mont Valérien cemetery in Nanterre, CNN’s crew reported.

A heavy safety presence was in place across the mosque.

Yves Herman/Reuters

A French police officer stands guard subsequent to autos burnt throughout an evening of clashes between protesters and police, in Nanterre, Paris, on July 1, 2023.

The boy’s mom, Mounia, informed tv station France 5 on Friday that she blamed only the officer who shot her son, Nahel Merzouk, for his loss of life. Nonetheless, the killing has sparked widespread damaging unrest and questions over whether race was a factor in his death.

Protests continued into the early hours of Saturday in defiance of a ban introduced a day earlier on all “large-scale events” within the nation, with rioting breaking out in a number of cities, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

France’s Interior Ministry mentioned Saturday that 1,311 folks had been detained following the fourth evening of violence, an replace on its earlier determine. It mentioned 2,560 fires had been reported on public roads, with 1,350 automobiles burned, and that there had been 234 incidents of injury or fireplace in buildings.

France activated 45,000 police and gendarmes throughout the nation Saturday evening, in keeping with the nation’s inside minister, Gérald Darmanin.

“I think everyone understands that the government won’t back down,” Darmanin mentioned.

He added the French authorities will closely reinforce safety forces in Lyon and Marseille, the place violent clashes passed off Friday evening.

Many of these detained for the reason that unrest started on Tuesday are minors. The common age of the more than 2000 detainees is 17 years previous, Darmanin mentioned.

Seventy-nine police and gendarmes had been injured over the course of Friday evening and there have been 58 assaults on police and gendarme stations, in keeping with the Interior Ministry.

Two police officers suffered gunshot wounds in Vaulx-en-Velin, a suburb of Lyon, the workplace mentioned, one to the nostril and the opposite to the thigh.

Social media movies of scenes in Lyon, geolocated by CNN, confirmed fast gunfire from an computerized rifle at evening, fireworks being launched at a protest and demonstrators subsequent to burning fires.

The Interior Ministry mentioned it will ship its elite unit of riot police, CRS 8, to Lyon on Saturday evening because it seeks to clamp down on the violence.

More than 700 companies throughout France have been broken for the reason that begin of the protests, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire mentioned at a information convention Saturday. The companies, which embody procuring facilities and financial institution branches, have been attacked, looted or in some circumstances, burned to the bottom, he mentioned.

In mild of the protests, French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed his deliberate state go to to Germany, the press workplace of the German presidency mentioned in a press release Saturday.

Macron spoke with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier by telephone to transient him on the “situation in his country,” the assertion mentioned. He had been because of go to Germany from July 2 to July 4.

On Friday, the German authorities expressed “concern” over the unrest sweeping France.

The French president has confronted criticism after he was noticed at an Elton John live performance on Wednesday whereas buildings had been being defaced and automobiles burned throughout the nation.

The continued violence in a single day into Saturday got here regardless of French police deploying 45,000 officers, particular models, armored autos and helicopters throughout the nation.

The nation’s inside minister mentioned in a tweet that reinforcements could be despatched to Marseille on Saturday following stories by the native mayor of violence and looting.

Marseille mayor Benoit Payan had tweeted late Friday evening that the scenes had been “unacceptable” and referred to as upon the state to “immediately send additional law enforcement forces.”

There was an explosion within the Old Port of Marseille on Friday night, in keeping with CNN affiliate BFMTV, however no casualties had been reported. The broadcaster additionally shared video displaying injury to the Alcazar library in Marseille which it mentioned had been vandalized throughout the evening.

The earlier evening, 917 folks had been detained throughout the nation, amongst them youngsters as younger as 13, Darmanin informed French TV channel TF1.

Based on numbers launched by France’s Interior Ministry, CNN estimates that more than 2,000 protesters have been detained and round 522 police officers and gendarmes injured for the reason that unrest first broke out on Tuesday.

The unrest is a response to the loss of life of Nahel, who was shot lifeless throughout a site visitors cease Tuesday morning in Nanterre.

Footage of the incident filmed by a bystander confirmed two officers standing on the motive force’s facet of the automobile, one in all whom fired his gun on the driver regardless of not showing to be in any fast hazard.

The officer has mentioned he fired his gun out of worry that the boy would run somebody over with the automobile, in keeping with Nanterre prosecutor Pascal Prache.

The officer at present faces a proper investigation for voluntary murder and has been positioned in preliminary detention.

Despite calls from high officers for persistence to permit time for the justice system to run its course, a large variety of folks throughout France stay shocked and indignant, particularly younger women and men of colour who’ve been victims of discrimination by police. Nahel was of Algerian descent.

Alexis Jumeau/SIPA/AP

Looting is going down amid the riots, French authorities say.

Protests seem even to have unfold to abroad French territories.

A person was killed by a “stray bullet” throughout riots in Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, on Thursday night, in keeping with a press release from town’s mayor.

And authorities in Réunion, a French division within the Indian Ocean, mentioned Saturday that at the least 28 folks had been detained in riots there, whereas 5 police officers and a gendarme had been injured.

Darmanin has mentioned that the loss of life of Nahel “cannot justify the disorder and the delinquency,” whereas French Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti has referred to as for “firm sanctions” in opposition to the rioters and mentioned that “justice was not achieved by looting, smashing public establishments and attacking people.”

This stage of unrest and rioting has not been seen in France since 2005, when the deaths of two teenage boys who had been hiding from police sparked weeks of rioting and prompted the federal government to name a state of emergency.

But the French authorities has up to now resisted calling a state of emergency this time round.

A spokesperson for the Elysée mentioned Friday {that a} state of emergency was “not necessary” and {that a} “gradual response” to the violence seen in latest days was “more appropriate.”

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