France Riots: Videos Which Show The True Scale Of This Week's Protests

Three nights of riots over a teen's killing have led to hundreds of arrests.

France has seen three nights of riots over the killing of a teenage driver by a police officer – and the videos are terrifying.

Cars have been set on fire, looting has unfolded around the country and protesters have directed fireworks at police officers, who have retaliated with tear gas and water cannons.

Armed police vehicles were even rammed through burnt out vehicles, particularly in the northwestern Parisian suburb of Nanterre, although protests have taken place across France.

It comes after an officer fatally shot a 17-year-old, currently known only by his first name Nahel, at a traffic stop in broad daylight on Tuesday morning in Nanterre.

The officer accused of shooting Nahel faces a preliminary charge of voluntary homicide. That means more investigation is needed before it can go to trial, but the prosecutor has initially concluded that the “the conditions for the legal use of the weapon were not met”.

Officers claim they stopped the driver because he was so young and driving a Mercedes with a Polish license plate in a bus lane. He then supposedly ran a red light to avoid the traffic stop – but congestion meant he got stuck.

Both police officers claimed they drew their guns to stop him getting away, and the one who fired supposedly thought he, his colleague or the public could be hit by the car – which is why he says he pulled the trigger.

The incident has revived concerns over inequality, particularly between police and those in disadvantaged neighbours, and racism.

Footage of the incident sparked outrage on social media, prompting two nights of riots. His mother then called for a silent march in honour of her son on Thursday.

She told France 5 television that the officer who killed Nahel just “saw a little, Arab-looking kid” and “he wanted to take his life”.

By Thursday night, after 40,000 officers were deployed, more than 600 people had been arrested (307 of whom were in the Paris region alone), and at least 200 officers injured.

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin denounced the night of “rare violence” on Friday, while president Emmanuel Macron held an emergency security meeting.

France hasn’t actually declared a state of emergency yet, as it did back in 2005 when riots broke out after two boys died while fleeing the police.

But, bus and tram services in Paris were shut for Friday morning’s rush hour, while France’s second-largest city Marseille has banned public demonstrations and all public transport will stop from 7pm local time.

Even in the Belgian capital of Brussels, some fires were started and a dozen people were detained in connection to the shooting in France.

Here’s a look at what some of these protests actually looked like from footage being shared on social media:


What's Hot