86 Police Officers Hurt in French Youth Riots

The rioting youths in France have injured 86 police officers, several seriously, with some youths vowing to continue until there are deaths.

86 Police Officers Hurt in French Youth Riots As in the 2005 riots, the youths were attacking the police mostly with fire bombs, rocks and other projectiles, but they also had guns and appeared to use them more this time. Photo: Thibault Camus/Associated Press

The number of police officers injured during clashes by French youths in a suburb north of Paris rose to 86 after a second bout of violence overnight in which 60 officers were hurt, including six who are in serious condition, police officials said.

Of the six in serious condition, four were hurt as a result of gunfire, said Francis Debuire, a representative of the General Union of Police Officers in the district where the fighting took place. One of the four lost an eye and another officer’s shoulder was shattered by a bullet after some of the youths used hunting shotguns as well as more conventional guns, firebombs and rocks.

Police union officials expressed concern that the violence was more severe than the fighting that had occurred in the Paris suburbs over three weeks of rioting in 2005. “The violence over the last days has been worse than two years ago in terms of its intensity,” Mr. Debuire said.


Among the marchers, a young man who identified himself as Cem, 18, but who refused to give his full name, said: “This is war. There is no mercy. We want at least two policemen dead.”

Clearly, not much has been done over the past two years, since the last set of youth riots, to integrate the youths into French society. Certainly, youths will be youths, but this is getting out of hand.

Photo: Thibault Camus/Associated Press

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Once again, I think it’s important to understand the actual nature of the problems. The two young men who were killed in the collision that touched off the rioting were said to have been of North African descent. We don’t know where they were born. In all likelihood their grandparents emigrated from Algeria or another French department. We don’t know if they or those who’ve been rioting are Muslims. Nominally, they probably are but we have no idea if they were particularly religious.

    That’s not at the root of the problem here. The problem is one that’s critically important for an ethnic state like France: how are those who’ve been there all their lives but aren’t Francais de souche to be considered? Right now they’re neither fish nor fowl.

    That’s why I’ve emphasized the importance of our birthright citizenship over here, contra the position of our friend, John Burgess. It at least has a chance of giving the descendants of immigrants a stake in the country that’s the only one they’ve ever known.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Agreed that religion qua religion isn’t the factor but rather ethnic assimilation.

    As to the birthright citizenship issue, I’m in between you and John, although perhaps closer to you. I think citizenship should be automatic for those born in the United States, providing that the parents are legal residents of the country. (I might also make an exception for those whose parents are here as agents of a foreign government, although that’s not an issue I’ve studied particularly hard on.)

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    I think citizenship should be automatic for those born in the United States, providing that the parents are legal residents of the country.

    If we’d rationalize our immigration policy with respect to Mexico, I’d think more favorably of this approach than I do now. As it stands our visa allotment for Mexico is so small as to be surreal.

  4. Christopher says:

    Those crazy French!

  5. I’ve never been a supporter of those who want to change birthright citizenship. One of my fears is we’d create an underclass that will eventually cause unrest like we’re seeing in France.

    Another reason I don’t favor a change, is how we’re supposed to enforce it. Any couple having a child has to produce birth certificates or a passport when they arrive at a hospital? A Social security card isn’t proof of citizenship, my wife had a number when she was both a conditional and permanent resident alien. The same goes for my mother and sister in-laws. They’re all citizens today.

    What happens if the parents don’t have proof? What happens if a birth certificate is issued incorrectly? I know a little about the later, and just how hard it is to get one fixed. When my son Daniel was born in 2003, the registrar at St. Mary’s hospital failed to fill the forms out properly. My son’s birth certificate was issued with no name on it. It was a headache to get it fixed.

    BTW why aren’t bloggers gloating over these French riots? What has happened to change their reaction compared to the same events from two years ago? I think we know the answer……….

  6. Anna Doe says:

    You are patronizing the French the same way the French patronized the Israelis. What will you do when muslims will riot in Detroit? Beat your chest and appologize for all the bad things you didn’t do to the Muslims, so at last they will stop bullying you?

    Read the koran, the ahadith and the sunnah: wake up, this is islam, they have been doing this for 1450 years, this is the way to make the infidels bow to islam. Most will convert, the rest will pay the jiziya and live in subjugation. How do you think 57 Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, pagan countries have between 80 to 100% muslim?

    By the swords. Check their flags.