The French president allegedly stated Tuesday that the pinnacle of protests following last week’s police shooting of a teenager of North African heritage has passed.
“We must get down to restoring the sustainable order as our absolute priority,” Emmanuel Macron told a group of mayors from towns where violence had occurred, according to French station BFMTV.
“I will be cautious in the coming days and weeks,” Macron said, addressing 241 mayors at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
According to local media, French police detained 72 more individuals overnight in countrywide protests following the death of a 17-year-old by police gunshot last week.
According to Interior Ministry numbers released to Le Figaro daily, police detained a total of 3,846 persons since June 27, and roughly 5,900 cars and 1,105 buildings were set on fire nationally.
Over 260 police stations have also been attacked, and 808 law enforcement officers have been hurt since the protests began.
Protests have erupted in France since June 27, when a police officer shot and killed Nahel M., 17, of Algerian heritage, during a traffic stop in the Paris neighbourhood of Nanterre after he reportedly refused to stop.
The cop who fired the shot is being investigated for voluntary homicide and is being held in pre-trial custody.
The demonstration began in Nanterre and moved the next evening to neighbouring towns including as Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, and Marseille.
Following skirmishes between police and demonstrators, tensions increased.
‘France’s image hurt’
According to Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, chairman of the business and employers’ network Movement of French Enterprises (MEDEF), more than 200 stores have been stolen and 300 bank branches have been demolished since the protests began, according to the daily Le Parisien.
“It’s too soon to give exact numbers, but it’s already more than a billion euros ($1.1 billion), without even counting the damage in the touristic aspect,” he said in an interview on Monday. “The social media videos have harmed France’s image.”
On Tuesday, Education Minister Pap Ndiaye told RTL that 243 school buildings had been damaged during the riots, with a dozen completely or partially demolished.
He also cited a few hundred million euros in losses, emphasising that the state will provide the necessary assistance to local governments.