Widespread protests have broken out in France after a 17-year-old boy was shot by police near Paris on Tuesday.
Protesters set fire to vehicles, climbed onto buildings, smashed windows, and demonstrated other forms of riots while the French police struggled to put an end to the chaos. Videos of the protests have already gone viral on the internet under the hashtag “France Has Fallen.” Here are some of the videos circulating on social media:
French President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency meeting with ministers and protests across the country refused to die down. Demonstrations have been banned in some cities, while some places in Paris have gotten travel warnings. These have also reignited a debate on over-policing in marginalized communities.
The recent protests were sparked when a police officer shot dead Nahel M, the teenager, during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre earlier this week. He was of Algerian descent. Footage of Nahel’s death went viral, after being captured by a passerby.
Footage of the incident showed two officers standing on the driver’s side of the car, one of whom discharged his gun at the driver despite not appearing to face any immediate threat. Nanterre prosecutor Pascal Prache later justified the police’s action saying that he fired the gun because he thought the boy would run someone over with the car. He added that the officer acted illegally when using his weapon. He is currently facing a formal investigation for voluntary homicide. The policeman has been placed in preliminary detention.