France teen’s family tell BBC police use of lethal force must change
According to a relative of the French teenager shot by police, the family does not want his death to spark riots, but insists lethal force should be banned at traffic stops.
Police shot Nahel M after he failed to stop for a traffic check last Tuesday.
According to the relative, no hate or rioting was called for.
It has been five days since violent riots broke out in France.
In the early hours of Monday morning, 78 arrests had been reported, 20 of them in Paris suburbs.
In an interview with the BBC near Nahel’s family home in Nanterre, the relative said the rioting, which resulted in thousands being arrested and shops being looted, did not honor his memory.
As tensions are so high following Nahel’s shooting, they told the BBC they did not ask to break or steal anything.
Their plan was to hold a “White March in the street. Walking and being angry in the street, demonstrating, but without outbursts.”
According to the relative, French authorities must now amend the law allowing police officers to shoot at motorists during traffic stops.
According to Nahel’s relative, “better training for the French police, better weapons regulation for police, and a review of the law that allows police to use lethal force if a young person refuses to stop at a traffic stop are all needed.”
In 2017, France’s penal code was amended to allow for greater use of firearms after police reported an increase in violence.
It has been argued that traffic related shootings have increased as a direct result of this change, which critics say is too vague because it leaves it to officers to determine whether refusing to comply poses a risk.
What is the purpose of French police using guns during traffic stops?
The shooting of a French teenager: Piecing it together
In Nanterre, Nahel M was shot by police. Who was he?
A record 13 people were killed last year during traffic stop incidents – three so far this year. Black or Arab victims have made up the majority of those killed, according to Reuters news agency.
The BBC also reported that Anais, a family friend and neighbor, faced racism, violence, and racial profiling every day as a young black man growing up in France’s suburbs.
Besides humiliating and insulting them, the police now kill them! Nahel has been covered by the media, but this isn’t the first time this has occurred.
According to Nahel’s relative, the family could not sit down together and remember him because of the chaos going on.
We are waiting for everything to calm down. Social media, riots, everything needs to calm down. We haven’t had time to sit down and discuss how he has passed,” they said.
Nahel’s grandmother earlier on Sunday called for an end to violence, accusing rioters of making excuses for Nahel’s death.
Nadia, Nahel’s grandmother, told BFMTV, “Don’t destroy the schools or the buses; it’s other mothers who use these buses.”