FRANCE. ~ In the six nights of violence following the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk in a Paris neighborhood, children as young as 12 or 13 were jailed for attacking police officers and setting fires. According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, the median age of the 3,354 people taken into custody over the past week was 17. During the turmoil, there were attacks on a total of 99 different town halls, one of which involved an attempt to ram a burning vehicle into the residence of the mayor of l’Hay-les-Les Roses, Vincent Jeanbrun. The assault happened over the weekend as the family slept and injured his wife and one of his young children. “We saw the true face of the rioters, that of the assassins”, declared Mr. Jeanbrun in a moving speech. “We saw the real face of the rioters.” He said that throughout the days of unrest, France and “democracy itself” were under threat.
In the meantime, a fundraising campaign for the “insulting” family of the policeman who shot Nahel has raised more than one million euros (about 840,000 pounds). The fundraiser, organized by Jean Messiha, a former aide to far-right leader Marine Le Pen in France, raised a significant sum of money, far more than the contribution website set up for the family of the victim who was a teenager. The family of a French police officer who fatally shot a teenager during a traffic stop, an incident that sparked riots across the country, has been awarded more than one million euros (about 860,000 pounds) from donations. This is a much larger amount than was raised for a similar campaign for the boy’s family. More than 52,000 people contributed to the online fundraiser initiated by Jean Messiha, an independent right-wing populist and former adviser to Marine Le Pen. In comparison, the fund set up by the policeman’s colleagues raised around €60,000.