A dispute has arisen regarding a donation collection that has exceeded €1 million (£860,000) for the family of the French police officer under investigation for fatally shooting a 17-year-old.
A similar campaign to aid the family of Nahel M. has raised less than €200,000. Nahel was killed a week ago in Nanterre, outside of Paris, after being stopped by two motorcycle patrol officers. The shooting on Tuesday exacerbated the country’s severe political divisions and sparked a wave of rioting and violence across France.
Jean Messiha, a former spokesperson for the far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour, organised the collection for the 38-year-old officer known as Florian M, with an initial goal of €50,000.
“Support for the family of the Nanterre police officer, Florian M, who did his job and is today paying a heavy price. Support him massively and support our police,” it reads.
By Monday afternoon, more than 58,000 people had made donations, the largest of which was €3,000 from an anonymous benefactor. There were several donations of €1,000.
Nadia, Nahel’s grandmother, expressed her heartbreak over the support shown for the French police officer. “He took the life of my grandson. This man must pay, the same as everyone,” she told the BFM television channel on Sunday. “I have confidence in the justice system. I believe in justice.”
Leftwing politicians have described the fund as “indecent”. Clémence Guetté of the radical-left France Unbowedparty said the fund was “indecent and an absolute horror”.
France Unbowed MEP, Manon Aubry, demanded the cancellation of the fund.