Security forces dispatched to Nantes after police shooting sparks violence

Clay Curtis
July 8, 2018

Rioters set fire to some 30 cars and several buildings on Tuesday night after news spread that an officer had shot dead a 22-year-old man after stopping his vehicle.

There have been more than a dozen arrests over the riots, including one in the Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse where the slain 22-year-old grew up, after youths threw Molotov cocktails at police and set dumpsters alight early on Thursday. Riots erupted, and eleven people were detained by police after almost 200 officers came out in militarized gear, according to ABC News.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe promised an investigation into the man's death, according to ABC.

Tuesday's police shooting further highlighted tensions, and there was a marked lack of transparency about the 22-year-old's death.

Angry youths have burnt cars and confronted police in poor neighbourhoods of the French city of Nantes.

It was reported that a silent march has been planned for Thursday evening in Nantes over his death. "It lasted ages", a witness said.

Local police chief Jean-Christophe Bertrand said the youth had hit a policeman with his auto, lightly injuring him, after a squad stopped the vehicle at around 8:30 pm for an alleged infraction and tried to take him to the police station for identification.

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A French policeman was detained for questioning Thursday over the fatal shooting of a young man that has sparked two nights of rioting in the western city of Nantes.

However, a number of witnesses contested police claims, saying the auto was stationary when police fired and that no officer was injured.

Some local residents have angrily contested the police account of the killing.

The riot-hit districts of Nantes all have a history of gang violence.

In January, the government vowed a crackdown on urban violence after shocking video footage emerged of a policewoman being beaten by a crowd in the Paris suburbs on New Year's Eve.

There were the worst riots for four decades in 2005 when two teenagers were electrocuted in a substation in Clichy-sous-Bois, near Paris, while being chased by police.

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