One million euros has been raised for the French policeman who killed the boy
One million euros has been raised for the French policeman who killed the boy

Paris: Over €1 million ($1.089 million) has been raised for a French police officer who killed a 17-year-old boy in Paris last week.

Since the officer, identified as Florian M, shot teenager Nahel Merzouk during a traffic stop on June 27, sparking a wave of rioting across the nation, about 52,000 people have donated money.

Similar fundraising efforts for Merzouk's family have only succeeded in raising €200,000, despite a larger donor base of over 100,000 people.

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His grandmother Nadia expressed to reporters at the broadcaster BFMTV that she was "heartbroken," adding, "He took the life of my grandson. The same as everyone else, this man must pay.

Florian M asserted that he shot Merzouk to protect himself, a friend, and the general public. The officer was later shown to be in no immediate danger in video footage of the incident, and the 38-year-old has since been arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter.


Right-wing populist and former adviser to presidential aspirant Marine Le Pen, French TV personality Jean Messiha, founded the fundraiser for Florian M. Around €60,000 has been collected for a separate fund started by Florian M's police colleagues.

Politicians from both the government and the opposition have vehemently denounced the campaign. Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance party member Eric Bothorel criticised the campaign as "indecent and scandalous," adding that Messiha is "playing with fire."

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According to Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, it is "fueling the fire" that has led thousands of people to take to the streets in significant cities all over the nation.

Support for the officer, according to Olivier Faure, first secretary of the French Socialist Party, is "perpetuating... a gaping division" in France.

The fundraiser, according to criminal attorney Carole-Olivia Monteno, "completely inappropriate" and "only increases hate where there is too much of it already."


Mathilde Panot, a member of parliament for La France Insoumise, stated: "Killing a young North African, in France in 2023, can earn you a lot of money."

Running street battles with police, looting, and criminal damage on a scale not seen in France in decades have all been part of the almost week-long rioting.

1,500 buildings have been attacked or looted, 3,000 people have been arrested, 700 police officers have been hurt, 5,000 vehicles have been destroyed. 

The grandmother of Merzouk demanded an end to the violence, noting that many rioters are using her grandson's passing as justification for looting and causing trouble.

I tell those who are causing trouble to stop," she told BFMTV. "Nahel is no more. My daughter was the sole parent. It's over, she's lost, and my daughter has no life.

The family is very against violence, but Merzouk's aunt continued, "I hope Nahel's death is going to spark some kind of change that means this never happens again."

40,000 police officers and other security personnel have been deployed across the country, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who also claimed that "law and order are being re-established thanks to the firmness that we have shown."

On Tuesday, Macron will meet with 200 mayors from communities in France that were damaged by the riots.

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In response to the violence, the president postponed a state visit to Germany this week, but he has so far refrained from proclamating a state of emergency. 


His government denied UN allegations that racism and problems with ethnic minority communities have existed in France for a long time. The Foreign Ministry described the allegations as "totally unfounded."


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