Nearly 500 individuals taken into custody during the fifth night of France riots sparked by the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old, but reports from across the country indicated that rioting was much less intense.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin reported that the security forces arrested a total of 486 people across the country by 3 am on Sunday. He noted that the level of violence seemed to have decreased since the France riots initially erupted over the death of Nahel M in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.
Darmanin tweeted early on Sunday, stating, “A quieter night thanks to the resolute action of the security forces.”
Earlier, Darmanin told reporters that the security forces would deploy 45,000 members overnight from Saturday to Sunday, maintaining the same number as the previous night. Lyon, Grenoble, and Marseille, which witnessed intense rioting on Friday night, received additional forces and equipment.
Approximately 7,000 officers were deployed in Paris and the surrounding regions, leading to the arrest of 126 individuals by 1:30 am on Sunday.
Measures on Paris’ iconic Champs Elysees avenue
Security forces increased measures on Paris‘ iconic Champs Elysees avenue in response to a social media call to gather there. They conducted spot checks, monitored the street, typically bustling with tourists, and boarded up shop facades to prevent potential damage and looting.
The most significant confrontations occurred in Marseille, where police used tear gas and clashed with youths in the city center late into the night. However, by midnight, authorities in Marseille and Lyon reported fewer incidents compared to the previous night, with 56 and 21 arrests made in the two cities, respectively.
Local authorities throughout the country implemented bans on demonstrations, ordered the suspension of evening public transport, and imposed overnight curfews.
On Saturday, President Emmanuel Macron postponed a state visit to Germany scheduled to begin on Sunday in order to address the worst crisis of his leadership since the “Yellow Vest” protests paralyzed much of France in late 2018. Macron recently faced months of anger and sometimes violent demonstrations across the country after pushing through a pension overhaul.