Riot Breaks Out at Paris Suburb Police Station Following Killing of Youth During Police Chase

A riot broke out on Sunday evening at a police station in a multicultural suburb of Paris following the killing of an 18-year-old man during a police chase.

Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and other makeshift projectiles were thrown at the La Courneuve police station, in Seine-Saint-Denis, the home to one of the largest foreign-born communities in France. Trash fires were also set ablaze by the agitants.

Paris Police Chief Laurent Nuñez announced on Monday morning that nine people have been arrested in connection to the riot, Le Figaro reports. Nuñez added that two police officers were injured by projectiles during the incident, however, they did not require hospital attention.

Security around the police station and additional officers have since been deployed to the area.

The riot was reportedly inspired by the death of ‘Wanys R’, an 18-year-old, who died on Sunday as he and a companion fled from police on a scooter. The scooter was hit by an anti-crime brigade police car coming from the opposite direction after being called upon as backup for the chase. The young man, who was thrown from the vehicle, later died from his injuries at a hospital.

According to reports, Wanys R was well known to police and had recently been released from prison.

Reda Belhadj, a spokesman for the SGP Police FO Ile de France blamed the riot on the death of the youth, saying: “They were claiming a vendetta to follow up the events in Aubervilliers,” which he said rioters believe was a “premeditated” killing.

A similar incident last year sparked nationwide riots in France. In June, a 17-year-old Algerian-heritage teenager, Nahel Merzouk, was shot and killed by police after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop in the Nanterre suburb of Paris. 

The news of the death quickly spread throughout migrant communities in France and sparked some of the most destructive riots in recent memory, resulting in over 1,000 buildings set on fire, 5,600 vehicles destroyed, and over 3,300 people arrested in just the first six days of the riots. 

While it is unclear if the latest killing will trigger similar riots nationwide, with the European Parliament elections quickly approaching, the death may be used to galvanise voters by leftist activists.

The former presidential candidate for the far-left New Anticapitalist Party, Philippe Poutou, celebrated the riots on Sunday evening, writing on X: “Nice fireworks this evening in front of the La Courneuve police station. Support for legitimate anger after yet another young person was killed by the police. Logical continuation of the revolts of July 23. Everything is getting worse, racism, discrimination, poverty, poor housing, repressive violence.”

However, the riots are also being cited by populists to criticise President Emmanuel Macron. The leader of the anti-mass migration Reconquest party, Eric Zemmour, said: “What is happening in La Courneuve is the routine of Islamized neighbourhoods which do not support the French police, French law and France in general. The political class is paralyzed by these people. Not me.”

Meanwhile, former National Rally presidential candidate Marine Le Pen wrote: “New riots broke out yesterday in Seine-Saint-Denis and a police station was attacked. For seven years, Emmanuel Macron has continued to weaken the authority of the State, plunging France into permanent chaos. Support for the police officers targeted yesterday in La Courneuve.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on X: or e-mail to: [email protected]


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