NANTERRE, France: Thousands of people on Thursday took to the streets of a Paris suburb to remember a French teen killed by police during a traffic stop, with protesters led by his mother as anger showed no sign of abating.
Nahel M., 17, was shot in the chest at point-blank range in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday in an incident captured on video that has reignited debate in France about police tactics.
A march in Nahel’s memory was led by his mother Mounia who waved at the crowds from an open top truck wearing a white t-shirt with the slogan “Justice for Nahel 27/06/23” and also brandishing a heart shape.
Just before the march began, Nahel’s mother Mounia gave an interview to French media outlet Blast in which she remembered her son as “a respectful, kind boy”.
She said that before heading out on the morning he was killed, “he told me ‘Mum, I love you’... I left for work, and unfortunately an hour later I got the call saying that my son had been shot”.
“My life, my heart was taken away from me. I miss him. It’s so painful,” Mounia continued.
“No justice, no peace!”, the crowds chanted, adding: “Everyone hates the police!”.
There was no sign of the kind of violence that has marked the late night protests over the past 48 hours across France.
Some carried signs such as “Police kill”, “How many other Nahels were not filmed?” or even “Our lives are in danger”.
Assa Traore, a well-known activist against police violence whose brother died after being arrested in 2016, told the rally: “The whole world must see that when we walk for Nahel, we walk for all those who were not filmed.”
The local MP from France’s Green party Sabrina Sebaihi said: “This march is a moment of meditation and mourning for the family, it is important to respect it.”