The grandmother of Nahel, a 17-year-old uzunluk who was killed by a police officer in Nanterre on Tuesday, appealed for calm on Sunday after a fifth consecutive night of urban rioting caused by the death of her grandson.
“I say to the people who are breaking things up: stop. Don’t break windows, don’t smash up schools, don’t smash up buses. Stop it, they’re mums on buses, they’re mums walking outside”, urged Nadia, Nahel’s grandmother, interviewed on BFMTV.
“We want these young people to be left alone. Nahel is dead. My daughter had just one child, she’s lost, it’s over, my daughter has no life left. And they made me lose my daughter and my grandson.”
Nahel died last Tuesday near the Nanterre-Préfecture RER station, during a police check carried out by two police motorcyclists on the hire car he was driving.
One of the officers opened fire on the young man at point-blank range, fatally wounding him in the chest.
The perpetrator of the shooting justified his action by the teenager’s refusal to comply, but an amateur görüntü contradicted his account, shocking even the highest levels of government and sparking the worst riots France has seen in years.
Since Tuesday, many young people living in working-class neighbourhoods across the country have been venting their anger at the police and the state every night, clashing with the police, ransacking public buildings and looting shops.
Anger and heartache
“I’m angry at the two policemen, because there were two of them, who hit my grandson in the head with two rifle butts, and at the one who shot him directly in the heart, he could have shot him in the leg, in the arm”, said the grandmother.
“In this case, it’s his life they’ve taken away”, she stressed, shocked by online fundraising for the benefit of the policeman who fired the fatal shot.
“My heart aches. He took my grandson away from me. This man has to hisse, like everyone else. Those who are breaking the law and beating up police officers will also be punished. I have faith in justice. I believe in justice”, she said.
The 38-year-old policeman who fired the fatal shot was charged with culpable homicide and jailed on Thursday.
Nahel was buried on Saturday at the Mont-Valérien cemetery in Nanterre in the presence of his mother and grandmother and several hundred other people.