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French Riots Spread To Belgium, Switzerland, Reports Of Rioters Targeting Christians, Conservatives

Paris, FRANCE – There have been at least 40 attacks on police stations, 270 officers have been wounded, and more than 3,000 rioters have been arrested as violence rocked numerous cities in France for the fifth night in a row following the officer-involved shooting of a Muslim teen.

The riots began in Paris and its suburbs but have spread to other cities and towns across the country.

The violent protests also spread to French-speaking areas in Switzerland and Belgium, according to The Telegraph.

Rioters in Belgium have torched cars and used fireworks as weapons against law enforcement officers who are trying to quell the violence, the Express reported.

Mainstream media in Europe and the United States have largely ignored the violent, immigrant-led riots and referred to them as “unrest,” and French President Emmanuel Macron has blamed the chaos on social media, video games, and bad parenting.

But there are rumors that French military leaders have told Macron to get the violence under control before they step in and handle it.

There are reports that most of the rioters are Muslim immigrants who are targeting Christian and conservative residents of the country.

Rioters stripped and badly beat an 80-year-old French priest and then attempted to lynch him in Saint Etienne on Friday night.

On Saturday night, rioters set fire to the home of the mayor of the Parisian southern suburb of L’Hay-les-Roses, Reuters reported.

L’Hay-les-Roses Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun was at town hall when the arsonists struck, but his wife and children were asleep inside the home.

Prosecutors said the attackers drove a vehicle at the mayor’s house, but when they couldn’t get past a low wall out front, they set fire to the vehicle, Reuters reported.

Jeanbrun’s wife and his five- and seven-year-old children fled out the back door and rioters shot fireworks at them, according to police.

The mayor said his wife Melanie broke her leg as she was trying to save her children and had to be taken into surgery, Reuters reported.

“While attempting to shield them and fleeing the attackers, my wife and one of my children were hurt,” Jeanbrun said.

Prosecutors have opened and attempted murder investigation in that case but no arrests have been made in the midst of the rioting across the country.

The incident that prompted the violent riots occurred in the early hours of June 27 when two French police officers stopped 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, FOX News reported.

Police reports show that officers reported the teen drove his yellow Mercedes directly at one of the officers.

French media reports said cell phone videos on social media showed an officer pointing his gun at the Mercedes and telling the driver, “”You are going to get a bullet in the head,” FOX News reported.

The driver attempted to flee and the officer fired a shot, striking Merzouk.

The 17 year old was pronounced dead at the scene, FOX News reported.

Police said that Merzouk had two passengers in his car and no driver’s license.

At the time of the incident, he was scheduled to appear in juvenile court in September after being detained for refusing to comply with a prior traffic stop, FOX News reported.

The officer who fatally shot the 17 year old is being held in custody and investigated by two magistrates for “voluntary homicide.”

His identity has not yet been released to the public but his attorney released a statement that said the fatal shooting was an accident.

The attorney, Laurent-Franck Lienard, told reporters that the officer was aiming for the suspect’s leg but when Merzouk suddenly hit the gas, he bumped the officer and the officer’s shot struck the driver’s chest, FOX News reported.

“Obviously (the officer) didn’t want to kill the driver,” Lienard told French media.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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