French President Emmanuel Macron is to meet on Tuesday with some 220 mayors of towns that have witnessed riots that broke out since the death of the 17-year-old Nahel M. at the hands of a police officer, France 24 reports.
Seeking to suppress the violent unrest that has swept across major cities the past five nights, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Sunday announced that 45,000 police and gendarmerie officers will be deployed across France for a third consecutive night.
The 17-year-old victim, identified only as Nahel M., was shot at point-blank range by a police officer on Tuesday morning in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. He was driving a yellow Mercedes when he was pulled over for traffic violations.
Police initially reported that he was shot after driving his car at police, but this was contradicted by a video that rapidly went viral across social media and was later authenticated by AFP. The footage shows the two policemen standing by the stationary car, with one pointing a weapon at the driver. A voice is heard saying, “You are going to get a bullet in the head.” The police officer then appears to fire as the car abruptly drives off before gradually coming to a stop.
The incident has sparked five nights of violent unrest in the capital and cities across France that have seen protesters clash with police.