French Riots: 1,000 Arrested Prior To Teen’s Funeral

France experienced a fourth night of protests characterized by violence and looting as a massive police deployment led to nearly 1,000 arrests. The nation is preparing for more riots ahead of the funeral of a teenager who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop, scheduled for Saturday.

According to the government, the level of violence had decreased compared to previous nights, but the interior ministry still reported 994 arrests nationwide overnight. Additionally, 79 police and gendarmes were injured, making it the most injured officers on any night since the protests began on Tuesday, which were ignited by the death of 17-year-old Nahel from a police bullet.

Provisional figures from the ministry, released early Saturday, indicated that 1,350 vehicles and 234 buildings were torched, and there were 2,560 incidents of fire set in public spaces.

Despite deploying 45,000 officers, the highest number during the protests, along with light-armored vehicles and elite police units, the clashes persisted. In cities like Marseille, Lyon, and Grenoble, bands of rioters, often wearing hoods, engaged in looting and pillaged shops.

Even with the rain pouring down on Paris and its suburbs since the early hours of Saturday, rioting persisted in the capital, with around half of the nationwide arrests (406) being made in and around Paris, according to a police source.

However, during a visit to Mantes-la-Jolie, west of Paris, on Saturday, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stated that the violence during the night had been of “much less intensity.”

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