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Unrest Grows in France Following Police Killing of Arab Teen as Country Reckons with Its Racism

HeadlineJul 05, 2023

France remains roiled by nationwide protests following the police killing last week of Nahel Merzouk, a teenager of North African descent. Some 3,400 people have been arrested in recent days as hordes of police descended on French streets. Thousands of vehicles have been burned, and homes and businesses damaged. Prosecutors are investigating the death of a 27-year-old who was hit by a projectile, likely fired by riot police, during street clashes. The killing of Merzouk has thrust long-simmering tensions around racism and the French police into the spotlight.

Protester: “Imagine if that had been my brother, my little or my big brother, in the street because he refused to comply. I mean, we are not safe here. We should be safe with the police, but we are scared of them. That is not normal.”

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