The incident occurred in Arras in northern France on Saturday, where a school teacher was killed and two students were left injured.
Riots have erupted in cities across France, including the town of Nanterre near Paris, following the tragic killing of 17-year-old Nahel M. The incident has once again highlighted the issue of racism within the French police force, particularly towards racial minorities and immigrants. People have taken to the streets in protest, demanding justice for Nahel and an end to this discriminatory behavior.
Raised by a sole parent, Nahel was employed as a delivery driver for a takeaway service while also nurturing a strong passion for rugby league. He attended a college in Suresnes, not far from his home, where he was training to become an electrician.
For the past three years, Nahel played rugby for the Pirates of Nanterre club and was involved in an integration program called Ovale Citoyen, which aimed to support struggling teenagers in school. Although his college attendance was not consistent, he had no criminal record, although he was known to the police. Many people believe that the police and administration treated him unfairly due to his race.
Tragedy struck on Tuesday morning when Nahel was fatally shot in the chest at close range while driving a Mercedes car. The incident occurred during a police traffic check, after he had driven off without complying with their instructions.
Nahel’s grandmother described him as a “kind, good boy.” Before she went to work on that fateful day, Nahel gave his mother a loving kiss and said, “I love you, Mum.”
In an interview, Mr. Jeff Puech, the president of Ovale Citoyen, emphasized Nahel’s determination to integrate into society and build a successful career, highlighting that he was not involved in drugs or juvenile crime.
It is worth noting that Nahel had encountered multiple police checks since 2021, as he repeatedly refused to comply with orders to stop his vehicle. During one incident, he was found driving a car with Polish number plates and had two passengers. However, as a 17-year-old, he was too young to possess a driving license.
Just last weekend, Nahel had reportedly been detained for his non-compliance and was scheduled to appear before a juvenile court in September. Many of his recent troubles were related to his involvement with cars.