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Nahel’s Mother Leads Protests as Suspect Officer Released

The mother of Nahel Marzouk, a 17 year old young man killed in a traffic stop in France in June, organized a rally on Sunday to demand justice after the police officer who fired the deadly shot was released from detention pending further investigation.

Nahel’s killing sparked major riots across France, exposing deep-seated dissatisfaction of police violence, poverty, and discrimination against immigrants, particularly those from North Africa.

The bodycam footage demonstrates two motorcycle officers approaching Marzouk’s car window, and one officer firing as the automobile moved forward. Officer Florian M., whose last name is being withheld by police, was initially arrested on a charge of voluntary homicide before his release on Wednesday.

Several hundred people rallied peacefully at Sunday’s protest held at Nelson Mandela Square in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. However, tensions arose occasionally with some throwing objects at police.

Mounia, the grieving mother, was emotional as she described missing her son before leading the crowd in chants of “Justice for Nahel.” The demonstrators included individuals who have experienced police violence, such as music producer Michel Zecler, along with left-wing activists and mothers concerned about the fate of their children.

“We all know someone in our families or entourage who has been touched by police violence, because you are Arab or Black,’’ participant Ibrahim Assebbane, a 22-year-old computer science student from Nanterre, said during Sunday’s protest.

However, the Nanterre prosecutor’s office justified the officer’s release, claiming that his ongoing imprisonment no longer met legal conditions, leaving the case’s trial chances uncertain.

Previous protests over Marzouk’s’s death erupted into widespread rioting, unleashing a teen backlash against perceived discrimination by the French state.

The upheaval has caused €100 million in public infrastructure damage, much of which remains unrepaired, and resulted in widespread police deployment.