More than 600 people were arrested in France during a third night of unrest that has rocked cities around the country since a police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old driver this week, the authorities said on Friday.
President Emmanuel Macron convened a crisis meeting for a second successive day on Friday as the government struggled to contain the anger unleashed by the killing, which took place during a traffic stop in Nanterre, west of Paris, on Tuesday.
The officer who fired the shot has been placed under formal investigation and detained on charges of voluntary homicide — a rare step in criminal cases involving police officers. But that appeared to have done little to calm tensions, which have been stoked by decades-long feelings of neglect and racial discrimination among people living in France’s poorer urban suburbs, many of whom identified with the teenager, who has been publicly named only as Nahel M.
Overnight, protesters burned cars, damaged public buildings, looted stores and clashed with riot police officers in dozens of cities around France, according to French news reports.
A school was set ablaze in the northern city of Lille, protesters set trash cans on fire and destroyed bus shelters in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille, and police officers were targeted with fireworks in the suburbs of Lyon. A handful of stores were also vandalized and looted in Paris itself, which had previously experienced little unrest over the shooting.
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne called the violence “intolerable and inexcusable.”
Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, had instructed the police to stop any violence as quickly as possible. He had also deployed over 40,000 security forces across the country on Thursday evening to contain any unrest, more than four times the number of officers deployed the previous night. In some cities, the authorities used helicopters to better track the chaotic unrest as small, highly mobile groups of young people clashed with the police.
Mr. Darmanin said on Twitter on Friday that “in line with my instructions to act firmly,” the police had made 667 arrests across France. Nearly 250 officers were injured, none of them seriously, according to the interior ministry.
Some of the worst violence was concentrated in the Paris region.
In Montreuil, an eastern suburb of the French capital, protesters smashed the windows of businesses and looted. In Aubervilliers, a northern suburb, charred metal carcasses were all that remained of a dozen buses after protesters broke into a depot and set them on fire.
Clément Beaune, the transportation minister, condemned the violence, telling reporters at the scene that it “offers no solution.”
“It only adds injustice to injustice and anger to anger,” Mr. Beaune said.