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The News Line: News CLASHES IN NANTES! – for the third night running CLASHES have continued between French police and protesters in the western city of Nantes for the third night running over the killing of a youth by the police. Protesters came out onto the streets of Nantes shortly after news of the death of a 22-year old man emerged late Tuesday night. An officer shot dead Aboubakar Fofana after, according to police, he ‘refused to comply’ during a traffic stop.

A police officer has reportedly been taken into custody for questioning in relation to the death. The public prosecutor for Nantes Pierre Sennes also said national police were investigating to clarify ‘the facts and determine in what circumstances the policeman used his weapon.’ Fofana’s death set off angry protests and provoked clashes between police and protesters in the Malakoff and Dervallières neighbourhoods, described by some local news reports as ‘sensitive’, the term used by the French government to refer to areas in need of social investment, but used by people to refer to areas prone to crime.

Around 50 cars were torched overnight into Friday in Nantes, according to the fire service, which said there were arson attempts on a high school and a petrol station. More than a dozen protesters were also arrested early Thursday. Authorities said more reinforcements were expected to be sent to the areas after police warned on Wednesday that they ‘expect the worst in the coming days,’ according to the Nantes-based Presse-Ocean newspaper.

Around 1,000 protesters took part in a peaceful rally in Nantes on Thursday, calling for ‘justice for Abou’ and demanding that the circumstances of his death be revealed. Nantes Mayor Johanna Rolland has asked for a transparent investigation into the case. The Nantes shooting comes amid a debate over the use of firearms by French police.

In February 2017, the French parliament passed a bill to increase police use of firearms following a spate of terrorist attacks. In June this year, figures showed a significant increase in French police violence and the use of their weapons.


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