French Authorities Deploy 45,000 Police Officers as Fourth Night of Unrest Looms

Paris Riots

In preparation for the anticipated fourth night of riots following a fatal police-involved shooting of a teenager during a routine traffic stop, French officials have mobilized 45,000 police officers and armored vehicles across various cities, including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Lille.

The incident that sparked these widespread protests occurred in the Nanterre suburb of Paris when a 17-year-old named Nahel M. was fatally shot by the police. The entire episode was caught on video, leading to an eruption of unrest throughout the country.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin provided an update on the situation, revealing that 270 individuals were arrested on Friday night alone, bringing the total number of arrests to 1,100 since the protests commenced.

In Marseille, rioters raided a gun store, managing to steal some hunting rifles but leaving the ammunition untouched.

Expressing his concern, Marseille Mayor Benoit Payan took to Twitter, urging the French government to dispatch additional troops, emphasizing that the “scenes of pillaging and violence are unacceptable.”

In response to the escalating situation, Darmanin requested that local authorities halt bus and tram services after 9 p.m. He further emphasized that the deployment of 45,000 officers is underway, acknowledging the critical hours ahead and expressing confidence in the unwavering efforts of the country’s firefighters and police officers.

When questioned about the possibility of declaring a state of emergency during a TV news interview, Darmanin stated, “We are not ruling out any possibilities, and the decision will be made by the President of the Republic after evaluating the situation following tonight’s events.”

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