France can hardly rest even in the fifth night after the death of a teenager by a police bullet. While the situation seemed less tense in some cities than in the previous nights, riots broke out again, especially in Paris, Marseille and Lyon. At least 427 people have been arrested nationwide, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning. The world-famous Parisian shopping street Champs Élysées was cleared by a large police force using tear gas, as "Le Figaro" reported. There was also renewed looting in Lyon and Nice. In Paris, demonstrators drove a car into that of a mayor and started a fire. In view of the unrest, President Emmanuel Macron canceled his state visit to Germany.
Darmanin went on to say that despite everything, the night was quieter "thanks to the decisive action taken by the law enforcement agencies". However, the numbers he presented sounded little reassuring: 1,311 arrests - significantly more than in the previous nights - 406 of them in Paris alone, and 79 injured police officers. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne praised the forces: In view of the violence, they showed exemplary courage, she wrote on Twitter. 45,000 police officers and thousands of firefighters were deployed to protect order.
In a Paris suburb, demonstrators rammed a car into the house of a mayor. Rioters drove a car into the house on Sunday night and then set it on fire, said Vincent Jeanbrun, mayor of L'Haÿ-les-Roses near Paris, on Twitter. His wife and one of his two children were "injured," wrote Jeanbrun. He was at the town hall of the city south of Paris during the incident.
The situation in Marseille is tense but under control, the city administration announced in the evening. Groups formed throughout the evening to cause damage, said the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture, according to "Le Parisien". The police tried to disperse the people with tear gas.
The police presence was massively increased in Marseille, Lyon and Grenoble in particular. After an armory had previously been looted in Marseille, the police were there with armored vehicles, helicopters and special troops.
The riots were triggered by the death of a youth at the hands of a police officer a few days ago. The 17-year-old was stopped at the wheel of a car by a motorcycle patrol in Nanterre on Tuesday. When the young man suddenly drove off, a fatal shot fell from a police officer's service weapon. The officials had initially stated that the young people had wanted to run over them. It was only when video images of the incident, verified by the media, spread on social networks that they moved away from this portrayal and the alleged intention to kill the young person. The police officer blamed for his death has been taken into custody. A manslaughter investigation was launched against him. The incident triggered a wave of violence in France.
The young man was buried on Saturday afternoon in his hometown of Nanterre near Paris. Observers had previously feared that the funeral could pour fuel on the fire again. But according to "Le Parisien" it was quiet in Nanterre until midnight.
Because of the unrest, President Macron canceled his state visit to Germany on Saturday. It would have been the first state visit by a French president to Germany in 23 years. But the domestic political situation is forcing Macron to stay in France.
Several concerts, fashion shows and other cultural events were also canceled in France. Buses and trams currently only run during the day, and the sale and carrying of fireworks and flammable substances have been banned. However, the government has not yet declared a national emergency, and curfews have only been imposed in small towns.
The Federal Foreign Office updated its travel and safety information on Saturday in view of the riots. Travelers were asked to inform themselves about the respective situation and to avoid large areas of violent riots. In addition, depending on the travel destination, significant restrictions should be taken into account when planning the program, especially in the evening and at night. The Federal Foreign Office pointed out that there had been violent riots in some districts and suburbs of Paris as well as in other larger cities in France. Some cities have imposed night curfews between 9 p.m. or 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. This often only applies to minors under the age of 16.