Paris authorities banned a planned demonstration at one of the city’s central squares Saturday following a week of rioting and looting to protest the police shooting of a Muslim teenage delivery driver.
Paris police announced the ban on the protest at the Place de la Republique in a statement on their website, citing a danger to public order in “a context of tensions,” according to reports.
The ban was upheld by a Paris court on Friday, following a week of violent rioting which caused more than $1 billion worth of damage to local businesses and saw the deployment of more than 45,000 police officers.
Police in the country have come under attack after the shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Mezouk at a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on June 27.
The teen’s family has pleaded with rioters to cease the destruction. “Don’t destroy the schools, don’t destroy the buses,” said his grandmother, Nadia. ““I’m telling them to stop.”
The rioting spread to major cities throughout the country and even some smaller towns, according to reports.
In towns across the country, protestors torched vehicles and attacked police stations, local authorities said.
“In the press and even on the TV news, it was mainly Paris and its suburbs, Lyon and Marseille that were talked about,” said Philippe Van-Hoorne, the mayor of L’Aigle, a town in Normandy where demonstrators destroyed vehicles during the protests. “But when you look, there were also incidents in a certain number of small communities, Unfortunately, the increase of uncivil behavior, of violence, is developing even in modest towns like ours … It’s very hard to solve.”
In the picturesque French town of Quissac in southern France, a small group of protestors bombarded the local police station with fireworks, damaging metal shutters and setting fire to a cypress tree.
The protest was a first for the town of 3,300 people, local authorities said.
Saturday’s aborted demonstration against police violence in Paris had been called by the family of Adama Traore, a black Frenchman who died in police custody in one of the city’s suburbs in 2016.