At a meeting with 240 mayors, French President Macron announced that he would carefully investigate the reasons for the recent unrest. He initially wants to maintain the massive police presence in the country.
French President Emmanuel Macron has received numerous mayors whose communities have been hit by violent protests in recent days. Of the 500 invited mayors, around 240 accepted the invitation, the Élysée Palace said.
Macron promised “fundamental answers”. He said it’s not about repeating things that have been practiced for decades, broadcaster BFMTV reported. Rather, what is needed is an “answer at the level of what we have experienced”. He wanted to “start long-term work to understand the reasons for these events,” said those around him.
At the meeting, Macron wanted to offer help in repairing damaged city halls and other public facilities, in addition to moral support.
Police presence should initially remain
The nationwide massive police presence should be maintained because it acts as a deterrent, according to Macron. If this is not enough, the security forces should take an “offensive” approach.
At a meeting with police officers on Monday evening, Macron spoke out in favor of quick sanctions. “The families should be financially punished quickly for the first offense,” he said after a report in the newspaper “Le Parisien”.
Days of unrest in France, in which anger was also directed against town halls, were triggered by the death of the youth Nahel M. The 17-year-old was shot dead in the driver’s seat of a car by a police officer during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre last week.
Description of a passenger in Nahel
“Le Parisien” published on Monday descriptions of what happened from the point of view of a 14-year-old who was sitting in the back seat of the car. His father had submitted the description to the newspaper. Nahel met the boy by chance in the morning and offered to drive him to a school exam. The boy reported that the young man did not follow an initial request from the police to stop. When the traffic stopped, the police officers caught up with the car and pointed their guns at Nahel.
One threatened to shoot him in the head. In a panic, Nahel may have slipped his foot off the brake of the automatic car, causing it to move. One officer asked the other to shoot. “He’s crazy, he shot,” Nahel said before he collapsed lifelessly and the car drove into a barrier.
The officer who fired the shot at the youth is now being investigated on suspicion of manslaughter.
72 people were arrested during renewed unrest on Tuesday night. Police officers were not injured, the Interior Ministry said. The unrest continued to die down. No major incidents were reported either.