French officials said 660 rioters were arrested on Saturday night, the fourth night in a row of violent protests after the officer-involved shooting of a Muslim teenager. The teen was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at the scene.
The long time violence exploded as protests of the officer-involved shooting of immigrant 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, who fled from a traffic stop in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on June 27, 2023.
Four nights in a row, rioters have set fire to public buildings, cars parked on the streets, and police stations. There were also reports of rioters firing a rocket-propelled grenade into a police station and concerns that France’s crisis has become a civil war.
Another video showed someone literally having to jump over a chainsaw being dragged by a motorcycle. On Saturday, videos showed zoo animals running through the streets of Paris and other French cities after rioters released them from the cages in zoos.
Zebras, elephants, and lions were seen running loose on city streets.
French officials said 1,300 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violent riots. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had deployed an addition 2,000 officers to quell the violence on Wednesday but it didn’t help.
The officer who fatally shot the 17 year old is being held in custody and investigated by two magistrates for voluntary homicide. His identity has not yet been released to the public.
French President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency meeting with ministers on June 30, 2023. Macron blamed the riots on social media, video games, and bad parenting in an address to the nation.
The Police Tribune / ABC Flash Point News 2023.