Protesters angry after police fatally shot a 17-year-old boy set cars and public buildings ablaze in Paris suburbs and unrest spread to some other French cities and towns, despite increased security efforts and the president’s calls for calm. The killing of 17-year-old Nahel during a traffic check Tuesday, captured on video, shocked the country and stirred up long-simmering tensions between young people and police in housing projects and other disadvantaged neighborhoods around France. “What I see on this video is the execution by police of a 17-year-old kid, in France, in 2023, in broad daylight,” said Greens party leader Marine Tondelier. Clashes first erupted Tuesday night in and around the Paris suburb of Nanterre, where Nahel was killed, and the government deployed 2,000 police to maintain order Wednesday. But violence resumed after dusk. Police and firefighters struggled to contain protesters and extinguish numerous blazes through the night that damaged schools, police stations and town halls or other public buildings, according to a spokesperson for the national police. The national police on Thursday reported fires or skirmishes in multiple cities overnight, from Toulouse in the south to Lille in the north, though the nexus of tensions was Nanterre and other Paris suburbs. For in-depth analysis and a deeper perspective on the growing outrage over the explosive combination of excessive force by police and what is being described as ‘systemic racism’ in France, Crystal Fleming, Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University, joins FRANCE 24’s Tom Burges Watson.
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