GoFundMe for accused French officer receives over $1 MILLION in donations

A GoFundMe for the French police officer accused of shooting and killing a 17-year-old during a traffic stop has raised over $1 million USD since it was launched late last week. 

The page asks for “Support for the family of Nanterre police officer Florian.M who did his job and who is now paying a high price. Support him MASSIVELY and support our law enforcement!"

According to The Mirror, the fundraiser was set up by Jean Messiha, a former National Rally member, and an ally of Eric Zemmour, who stood as a candidate in France's recent election.

Police pulled over the teen as Nahel Merzouk, who worked as a delivery driver, in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday morning for breaking a traffic rule according to the local prosecutor.

According to France24, the Nanterre prosecutor confirmed that two police officers on motorcycles saw a Mercedes with a Polish license place, with one driver and two passengers, traveling quickly in a bus lane at 7:55 am.

The police officers attempted to indicate to the vehicle’s driver to pull over and park twice, but the driver continued. According to the outlet, video footage showed the Mercedes committing several traffic violations during the pursuit.

At a stop light in La Defence, the Mercedes came to a halt, and the police officers demanded that the driver turn off the engine and exit the vehicle.

Police said they drew their weapons in an attempt to keep the driver from fleeing, but the driver ended up driving away, at which point the police shot the driver, with a bullet hitting the driver through the arm and chest.

Police reportedly took the officer into custody and opened an investigation into charges of voluntary manslaughter. Charges were brought against the officer on Friday.

The police officer's lawyer Laurent-Franck Lienard told French television in an interview that his client had aimed at the driver's leg but was bumped when the car took off, causing him to shoot the driver in the chest.

Nahel was of Algerian and Moroccan descent and had no criminal record.  

In response to the shooting, riots began in the suburbs of Paris and spread to cities and towns across the country.

Footage of the riots has spread across social media with one video showing rioters chanting, "Allahu Akbar" as they set fire to vehicles and launched mortars at buildings.

According to the country’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, ten malls had been looted and over 200 supermarkets had been ransacked.

Rioters have also reportedly looted banks, clothing stores, and fast-food outlets while torching businesses, vehicles, and residential buildings on fire across the country.

Gregory Joron, Secretary-General of Unite SGP Police FO union said that police "haven’t seen such urban violence in 18 years in so many cities around France."

Rioters drove a car into the home of L’Haÿ-les-Roses Mayor Vincent Jeanrun Saturday morning and set the house on fire. During the attack, which is being investigated as attempted murder, his wife broke her leg and one of his two children was injured.

According to Fox News, over 2,000 arrests have been made over the five days of rioting across the country, with the average age of those arrested is 17.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed his scheduled visit to Germany as a result of the rioting and over 45,000 law enforcement officers have been deployed to quell the violence.


Image: Title: france gofundme
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