Fears after a teen was killed by police in France's suburb of Paris

In the French suburb of Nanterre, firefighters work to put out fires in burning cars. Image: June 28, 2023

The artists have been hard at work in Nanterre's neighborhood of Pablo Picasso.

Graffiti that reads "Justice for Nahel" and threatens retaliation for his death is daubed on the storefront walls along the main street of this Paris suburb.

For a second night, that rage has manifested itself against the police in a barrage of fireworks, some of which were aimed directly at officers. Colorful patterns emerge in the night sky as a result of the violence on the ground.

Some areas of the neighborhood had reportedly been off-limits to police for a while during the early hours of the morning, according to a local reporter.

France's leaders will be concerned about a second night of violence that spread to parts of Toulouse, Lyon, and Lille.

The death of a young man at the hands of the police strikes a nerve in France's suburbs, which feel cut off from the country's prosperous city centers and let down by the government.

Every official statement made here carries a cloud of the 2005 riots. All parties involved in this dispute recall the weeks of unrest that resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency after two boys were killed while fleeing the police in a suburb of Paris.

Locals would camp out in schools back then to shield them from rioters in the Paris region. French media reported that residents had done so once more on Wednesday night in Nanterre.

The arduous efforts of President Emmanuel Macron and his administration to support Nahel and his family appear to have so far been in vain.   .

Since their authority was expanded following a spate of terrorist attacks in 2015, there is more resentment of the police in this country.

On Thursday morning, as normal life returned amidst the burned-out cars, residents in Pablo Picasso barely spoke of anything else.

Behind the scenes of kids riding their scooters and morning coffee being served on café terraces, there is worry about what might happen.

The 32-year-old Charlene, who has spent more than a decade living in Nanterre, claimed that "the youth are angry.". "Things won't stop being tense just yet. At least another 10 days, in my opinion. ".

While out for a stroll while pushing her toddler in a stroller, Naye exclaimed, "The violence at night is scary.". He was the mother's only child, so I feel awful for her. ".

The mother of Nahel will later lead a march in Nanterre in honor of her son. It should be done with reverence and calm, as President Macron has urged.

The unspoken concern of many people in this place is that the tragedy of a teenager's death could spark a protracted conflict between French suburbs and the French state.

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