French President Cancels Trip Amid Riots

French President Emmanuel Macron canceled a planned trip to Germany this weekend amid nationwide riots. The violence began after police shot and killed a 17-year-old male of North African descent during an attempted traffic stop.

France has seen its worst unrest in nearly two decades, requiring more than 40,000 police to be deployed nationwide.

While the French president canceled his planned state visit, he has not declared a state of emergency.

Instead, the president declared the violence on other factors, including social media and video games. He also condemned the initial shooting. 

The country has declared a nationwide public transportation curfew.

Several of the country’s major cities, including Paris and Marseilles have seen considerable rioting and looting. In the case of Marseilles, looters stole hunting rifles from a store.

According to the French Interior Ministry, about 2,400 people have been arrested due to the riots, including more than 1,300 on Friday. 

The riots have also led to hundreds of police and firefighters being injured. Photos from the riots show numerous cars on fire.

In addition to the violence in France, there have been reported acts of violence in bordering Switzerland and Belgium, as well. The French overseas territory of Guiana also saw an outbreak of violence that left at least one person dead.

According to police, a youth identified as Nahel was killed in the city of Nanterre, near Paris Tuesday. The youth attempted to flee a traffic stop in a Mercedes when an officer attempted to shoot him in the leg. Instead, the bullet killed the young man. 

Saturday was also the date of the youth’s funeral, in which he was buried in a white casket.

Nahel’s mother, identified only as Mounia M., stated that the police officer who shot her son “saw a little Arab-looking kid, he wanted to take his life.” 

“A police officer cannot take his gun and fire at our children, take our children’s lives,” she said.

The officer is under investigation for voluntary homicide, with the prosecutor stating that the officer’s actions were not justified.