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France: Macron urges calm amid violence; deploys 40k officers to control riots

Celebrities and some politicians too raised disgust, concern and outrage at the shooting.

France: Macron urges calm amid violence; deploys 40k officers to control riots
French President Emmanuel Macron (File)

FRANCE: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged calm and called the violence "unjustifiable", after protests spread across the country following a 17-year-old boy being shot dead by police.

The teenager, identified as Nal was killed after being stopped for a traffic violation in the Paris suburb town of Nanterre on Tuesday, and the officer who is accused of shooting him was taken to jail.

Taking to Twitter, Macron said, "Violence against police stations, schools, town halls, against the Republic, is unjustifiable. Thank you to the police, gendarmes, firefighters and elected officials mobilized. Meditation, Justice and calm must guide the next few hours".

He also convened a crisis meeting with senior ministers on Thursday in the wake of the situation, CNN reported. Speaking at the meeting, Macron said: "Clearly the emotion that comes with the death of a young man calls for contemplation and calm, and it's what the government has constantly called for. I think this is what should continue to guide the next hours and the tributes." Calling the violence as "absolutely unjustifiable", the French President thanked those who are working to bring back calm.

"The last hours have been marked by violent scenes against police stations but also schools and town halls, and basically against institutions and the Republic. It's absolutely unjustifiable," Macron said.

He added, "I would like to thank those who are out during the night, like yesterday, to protect these institutions and bring back calm". In another statement, Macron defended the 'right to protest' and urged people to maintain calm.

"We have always safeguarded the right to protest...but we need harmony and we need a lot of collective goodwill," President Emmanuel Macron told the newspaper Ouest France, while urging calm, reported France24. Meanwhile, the French Interior Ministry said on Thursday that it is mobilizing 40,000 police officers to deal with riots that have spread across France, DW News reported.

"The State must be firm in its response, tonight 40,000 policemen will be mobilized, including 5,000 in the Paris region, versus 9,000 yesterday," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said. The officers will also be deployed to towns and cities across France where riots spread on Wednesday night. "170 officers were injured in last night's clashes and 180 people were arrested," Darmanin added.

A French prosecutor said the police officer who shot a 17-year-old on Tuesday had been placed under formal investigation for "voluntary homicide" and would be brought before a judge on Thursday, DW News reported.

The Nanterre public prosecutor said the police officer could be indicted on Thursday, adding that the initial investigations showed that "the legal conditions for the use of the weapon (during the incident) were not met."

An autopsy of the body of the victim showed that the cause of death was receiving a single shot from a gun, the prosecutor said. Irked by the teenager's death, protesters took to the streets in Nanterre. Images show firefighters extinguishing a burning car during the protests.

Celebrities and some politicians too raised disgust, concern and outrage at the shooting. Star PSG player and French men's national football team captain Kylian Mbappe tweeted, "I am hurting for my France. An unacceptable situation."

Actor Omar Sy, star of the film "The Intouchables" and the "Lupin" TV show, tweeted, "I hope that justice worthy of the name will honour the memory of this child," CNN reported.

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