Rioting in northern France injures 17 police officers
On Monday night, the French city of Amiens erupted into violence when rioters torched public buildings and cars.
CNN reports that the city had problems with drug trafficking, and was designated a “high security zone” even before the riots.
On Sunday, police interrupted a funeral ceremony for a local man killed in a motorcycle crash earlier in the week. French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, said that tension between the police and residents increased due to this incident, which is being pin-pointed as the cause of rioters’ anger.
According to Reuters, President François Hollande has promised that “the state will mobilize all its resources to combat this violence. Our priority is security which means that the next budget will include additional resources for the gendarmerie and the police.”
Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, had to deal with a wave of similar incidents in 2005, when France was besieged by rioting that started in the suburbs of Paris and spread to poor urban areas around the country. The deaths of two North African men while fleeing the police caused the violence that spanned nearly three weeks and saw the burning of thousands of cars.
The damage in Amiens, Mayor Gilles Demailly estimated, will run upwards of a few million euro.