The French Ministry of the Interior said that it had arrested 1,311 people across the country during riots that continued for the fourth night in a row, over the killing of a teenager of Arab descent by police bullets, according to what the Interior Ministry announced on Saturday.
France deployed 45,000 police and gendarmes, backed by armored vehicles, to control the riots that erupted after the killing of 17-year-old teenager Nael, who was shot by a policeman during a traffic check in a suburb of Paris on Tuesday.
Demonstrations and violence erupted across France after 17-year-old Nael was shot dead at a traffic light in Nanterre, a town outside Paris, on Tuesday.
As part of its endeavor to contain the riots and vandalism, the French government allowed the gendarmerie to take armored vehicles onto the streets, without going so far as to declare a state of emergency.
And French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that additional security forces would be deployed to control the riots and unrest taking place in various parts of France, in the wake of the killing of a boy by a policeman.
In a speech during a crisis meeting with members of his government, he said that the Interior Ministry would work to mobilize “additional means” to deal with violent protests, denouncing the “unacceptable exploitation of the death of a teenager.” He also called on social media platforms to delete “sensitive” riot scenes.
Macron welcomed the police’s “quick and appropriate” response, and announced that the Interior Ministry would deploy “additional resources”. “The decision was taken to cancel many ceremonies and gatherings in the most sensitive circles,” he said.
He also said he expected major social media platforms to be “responsible”, citing in particular Snapchat and TikTok where “violent assemblies … give rise to a kind of simulated violence, which leads to younger people acting out of touch with reality”.