Parisian plea: A grandmother’s heartfelt cry amid suburb’s turmoil (video)

Police officers patrol in front of the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris, at the weekend. Picture courtesy of AP.

Amid heart-wrenching tragedy, a grieving grandmother’s heartfelt plea for an end to violence echoes across a Parisian suburb engulfed in turmoil. Following the fatal shooting of 17 year old Nahel Merzouk by a police officer, protests have spiralled into a sixth night of rioting. As tensions escalate, French authorities brace for the eruption of another wave of unrest

Merzouk’s grandmother tried to reach out to protesters yesterday. She said…

“They should not damage the schools, not break the buses, it was the moms who take the buses.”

The grandmother, identified as Nadia, expressed her exhaustion, emphasizing that Merzouk’s mother is left without a life.

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Meanwhile, in response to the violent public unrest, the government announced that over 45,000 police officers and gendarmes will be deployed across France in a bid to crack down on the turmoil and anarchy.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin revealed that many of those detained during the protests are minors, with an average age of 17 among the more than 2,000 detainees.

Although the situation across France appeared less tense yesterday, sporadic protests were reported. However, according to CNN producers in France, the violence usually intensifies after sunset.

French President Emmanuel Macron scheduled a meeting with the country’s prime minister, interior minister, and justice minister at 7pm local time to receive an update on the nationwide protests, as stated by the Elysee Palace.

In a harrowing development, the mayor of a Paris suburb disclosed that his home was attacked during the early hours of yesterday, describing it as an “assassination attempt” on his family.

Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun of L’Haÿ-les-Roses, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, said…

“At 1.30am, while I was at the city hall like the past three nights, individuals rammed their car upon my residence before setting fire to it to burn my house, inside which my wife and my two young children slept.”

He expressed his profound emotions towards the horrific incident and extended his gratitude to the police and rescue services for their assistance.

According to the Créteil prosecutor’s office, the incident is being classified as an “attempted murder.”

Prosecutor Stéphane Hardouin informed reporters yesterday that initial findings from a police investigation suggest that a flaming car was deliberately launched to destroy the mayor’s property around 1.30am local time.

Fortunately, the vehicle stopped after hitting a low wall before reaching the veranda of the house. Only the front gate and the family’s vehicle were damaged. The mayor’s wife and their two children, aged 5 and 7, managed to escape through the back garden. During their escape, the mayor’s wife suffered a broken shin.

Hardouin also revealed that forensic police discovered a fire accelerant in a bottle of Coke at the scene. However, the specific substance used as an accelerant was not specified. The prosecutor concluded by assuring that every effort will be made to apprehend the perpetrators.

He said…

“Every possible measure will be taken to apprehend the culprits and ensure justice prevails.”

France has been shaken by an outpouring of protests following the tragic death of Merzouk.

With a heavy security presence, Merzouk’s funeral took place on Saturday at a mosque in a Paris suburb. The incident has reignited a fervent discussion on policing practices within France’s marginalized communities, with lingering doubts about the role of race in his untimely death.

As controversy swirls, a contentious GoFundMe campaign in support of the police officer accused of the fatal shooting has amassed nearly US$710,000 (25 million baht) by yesterday afternoon.

Initiated by a far-right TV pundit, the page contends that the officer “merely fulfilled his duty and is now bearing a heavy price.”

In contrast, a separate crowdfunding initiative for Nahel’s grieving mother has raised over US105,000. The page describes Merzouk as leaving behind a devastated mother, urging support to navigate the arduous trials ahead.

Despite the French government’s deployment of security forces and riot police nationwide, the unrest persisted with another night of protests on Saturday.

The Interior Ministry’s preliminary tally reported over 700 individuals detained across France overnight. Alarming statistics further revealed that 45 police officers and gendarmes sustained injuries, while 74 establishments, including 26 police and gendarme stations, fell victim to damage.

Additionally, a staggering 577 vehicles were set ablaze, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The previous night witnessed an even higher number of detentions, exceeding 1,300, along with reports of 2,560 fires on public roads.

The repercussions of Merzouk’s tragic fate continue to reverberate throughout the nation, exacerbating tensions and calling into question the efficacy of law enforcement in marginalized communities.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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