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Fundraiser for French cop who sparked riots in France for killing 17-year-old boy reach €1million while donation for the victim’s family gather only €189,000

Jul 3, 2023 #News
Fundraiser for French cop who sparked riots in France for killing 17-year-old boy reach ?1million while donation for the victim

A fundraiser for a French policeman who ‘executed’ a teenager during a traffic stop has reached more than €1million (almost £900,000), while donations for the victim’s devastated family have only gathered €189,000.

Nahel Merzouk, a 17-year-old with an Algerian background, was shot at point blank in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday, 27, June. His death has sparked nationwide riots.

Fundraiser for French cop who sparked riots in France for killing 17-year-old boy reach ?1million while donation for the victim

Nahel’s family has said the killing was symptomatic of widespread racism towards ethnic minority groups in France, and Nahel’s grandmother said she was ‘heartbroken’ by the support shown for the policeman.

More than 40,000 people have pledged money to the online fund for the officer, setup on Gofundme.com by far-right media commentator Jean Messiha.

Messiha, an Egyptian-born economist and commentator on the right-wing CNews channel, who is an advisor to far-right politician Marine Le Pen, celebrated on Twitter when it surpassed the fund for Nahel’s family and later when it climbed to €1million.

The ‘insulting’ fundraiser has outstripped the €189,000 gathered for the family of Nahel, who lived with his mother on a housing estate in a west Paris suburb.

Nahel’s grandmother, Nadia, slammed those who are supporting the policeman and told French media on Sunday that he must face justice.

‘He took the life of my grandson. This man must pay, the same as everyone,’ she told the BFM channel. ‘I have confidence in the justice system. I believe in justice.’

She also criticised rioters for using his death as an excuse to cause havoc and said the family was desperate for calm.

‘I tell them to stop it. It’s mothers who take buses, it’s mothers who walk outside. We should calm things, we don’t want them to break things,’ she said. ‘Nahel is dead, that’s all there is.’

Widespread rioting and looting have taken a toll on France since last Tuesday.

Criminal lawyer Carole-Olivia Monteno told BFM TV: ‘It’s insulting to Nahel’s family, it only increases hate where there’s too much of it already, its completely inappropriate and politically it does nothing.’

When launching the collection, Messiha said it was for an officer who was ‘doing his work and is paying a heavy price’.

The head of the right-wing Republicans party, Eric Ciotti, defended the initiative on Monday and said he might contribute.

The officer’s family was ‘facing difficulties’, he said.

The 38-year-old policeman, named in French media as Florian M., has been detained and charged with voluntary manslaughter.

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