According to a relative of the French teen who was fatally shot by police, the family did not want his passing to incite riots but insisted that the law regarding the use of lethal force during traffic stops needs to change.
After failing to stop for a traffic check last Tuesday, Nahel M. was shot dead at point blank range by police.
The relative claimed, "We never called for hatred or riots.".
There have been violent riots in France for five days.
The relative claimed in an interview with the BBC that the rioting, which has resulted in thousands of arrests, shops being looted, and hundreds of vehicles being set on fire throughout France, did not honor Nahel's memory.
We didn't ask to steal or break anything. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, they told the BBC that none of this was for Nahel. According to them, a "White March in the street" had been requested. Walking in Nahel's honor. Walking, even yelling in the street, protesting, but keeping your mouth shut. ".
The relative claimed that the law allowing police officers in France to fire during traffic stops must now be changed.
"Better training for the French police, weapons regulation for police, and reviewing the law that permits police to use lethal force if a young person refuses to traffic at a traffic stop," Nahel's relative demanded in a statement.
In 2017, France's penal code was modified to permit a wider range of firearms use in response to police reports of an increase in violent crime.
Critics contend that this change, which they claim is excessively ambiguous because it leaves it up to officers to decide whether the driver's refusal to comply poses a risk, is directly responsible for the rise in shootings involving vehicles.
Three people have died so far this year during police traffic stops, compared to a record 13 deaths during such incidents last year, and most of those victims, according to the news agency Reuters, were black people of Arab descent.
According to Anais, a family friend and neighbor, being a young black man in the suburbs of France entails daily encounters with racism, violence, and racial profiling.
"They [the police] treat them improperly and humiliate and insult them. Nahel was covered by the press, but it has happened before, she said, adding that now they are being killed.
According to Nahel's relative, the family had not found time to gather and remember him because of the ongoing chaos.
"We need things to settle down. Everything needs to calm down, including riots on social media. We haven't had time to sit down and reflect on how he's gone for five minutes as a group because of all of this, they said.
Nahel's grandmother demanded an end to the violence earlier on Sunday and charged that rioters were using Nahel's passing as justification.
"Don't wreck the buses and don't wreck the schools. These buses are used by other mothers, according to Nahel's grandmother Nadia, who spoke to BFMTV.