PARIS (AP) — Unrest across France sparked by the police shooting of a 17-year-old appeared to slow overnight after six nights.
In all, according to the Interior Ministry, there were 157 arrests overnight, down from a peak of 3,880 arrests during the fiery night of June 30, and two law enforcement stations were attacked, among other damage.
Around 45,000 officers were deployed nationwide to counter violence fuelled by anger over discrimination against people who trace their roots to former French colonies and live in low-income neighborhoods. Nahel, the teenager killed last Tuesday, was of Algerian descent and was shot in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.
Across France, 297 vehicles were torched overnight along with 34 buildings.
A burning car stuck the home of the mayor of the Paris suburb L’Hay-les-Roses over the weekend, an unusually personal attack amid the backdrop of fires and vandalism targeting police stations and town halls.
French President Emmanuel Macros has blamed social media for the spread of the unrest and called on parents to take responsibility for their teenagers. Eric Dupond-Moretti, the justice minister, told France Inter radio that parents who abdicated that responsibility “either through disinterest or deliberately” would be prosecuted.
Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun said his wife and one of his children were injured and criticized the government for doing too little, too late — and said blaming social media or parents was papering over a bigger problem.
“The base ingredients are still there. For several years now, all summer long, explosives go off that keep people from sleeping, that make them crazy,” he told BFM television on Monday. “We are powerless summer after summer.”