(DCWatchdog.com) – In scenes reminiscent of what happened in the United States when Antifa and BLM thugs were allowed to loot and burn American cities, civil unrest has erupted in the outskirts of Paris and rapidly extended to various cities throughout France in response to the death of a 17-year-old during a routine traffic stop.
Alan Mendoza, the co-founder and executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, said in an interview with Fox News Digital, “What’s happening there is the result of a failure to integrate the country’s Muslim immigrant population.”
He adds that the resentment building up in these marginalized areas merely required a trigger to explode into riots. He believes that an anarchistic element of French society exploits this rage and encourages the chaos of rioting and looting.
Grégory Joron, the Secretary-General of Unite SGP Police FO union, expressed that this level of urban violence has been unseen in France for almost two decades.
The incident that sparked the protests involved a teenager, Nahel M., who was stopped by police in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre on a Tuesday morning. Nahel, a delivery driver, conversed with two officers who explained his traffic violation. However, the precise circumstances leading to the subsequent tragedy remain contested due to discrepancies between police accounts and circulating social media footage.
Nahel, who drove a yellow Mercedes and had two passengers with him at the time, didn’t possess a license. He had previously faced detention for refusing to abide by a past traffic stop and was due in juvenile court in September.
An officer shot Nahel as he attempted to drive away. His vehicle crashed shortly afterward, and Nahel died at the scene. The involved officer was detained, and an investigation into potential manslaughter charges was initiated.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s response to the crisis has been somewhat inconsistent. Initially, he deemed the shooting “inexplicable” and “unforgivable,” but later blamed social media and video games for fueling the ongoing violence.
Macron asserted that platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and others played a significant role in escalating the riots, particularly after the officer who shot Nahel was publicly identified on these platforms. He announced plans for his government to work with social media sites to remove “sensitive content” and track users who incite or amplify violence.
Nahel’s mother accused the police of aggressive behavior towards “an Arab face,” underlining the tension between a large, underserved population of primarily Muslim immigrants of North African descent and law enforcement.
Despite having no criminal record, Nahel had experienced five police checks since 2021 and had defied a stop order. Most of these stops involved driving without a license or insurance and using counterfeit number plates.
The video of Nahel’s encounter, coupled with conflicting police statements, aroused the suspicion of a coverup among some French citizens, prompting initial protests. Demonstrators argue that Nahel’s death is indicative of systemic racism within French law enforcement agencies, as reported by The New York Times.
Tensions between protesters and police have escalated since the incident, with growing arrests as protesters resort to violence, igniting vehicles and garbage and vandalizing buildings.
The protests first erupted in Nanterre, but by the third day, they had extended to other cities, including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Lille.
Rioters robbed a gun store in Marseille, stealing hunting rifles but leaving the ammunition.
On Saturday, President Macron canceled a trip to Germany to handle the escalating domestic crisis, despite recently attending an Elton John concert amidst growing protests. He convened an emergency meeting of the National Assembly to determine how to manage the protests, eventually deploying 45,000 officers and armored vehicles to subdue the protests. Initially, only around 9,000 officers had been deployed.
Macron denounced the violent clashes as “absolutely unjustifiable” following the emergency meeting.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin revealed that 270 people had been arrested on Friday night, totaling 1,300 arrests since the start of the protests. He proposed a curfew on bus and tram traffic, beginning at 9 p.m., to restrict protester movement.
When questioned about the potential for a state of emergency, he stated, “Quite simply, we’re not ruling out any hypothesis, and we’ll see after tonight what the President of the Republic chooses.”
Over 1,300 arrested across France during fourth night of riots sparked by police killing of teen https://t.co/pSWR70KUOi
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 1, 2023