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Far-right Figure in France Ends Controversial Crowdfunding for Officer Involved in Teen’s Shooting, Triggering Unrest

by Sophia Chen
10 comments
far-right figure

On Tuesday, a prominent far-right figure in France decided to close a highly divisive crowdfunding campaign that he had initiated for the family of a police officer who was jailed for the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old teenager. The campaign, organized by Jean Messiha, had amassed over 1.5 million euros ($1.63 million).

Criticism and potential legal actions against Messiha’s GoFundMe initiative have been mounting, with allegations that his true intention was to promote hatred and fuel confrontation between the far-right and residents of impoverished suburbs, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds.

Even Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne expressed her view that the fundraising effort for the officer’s family did not contribute to calming the situation. Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, speaking on France-Inter radio, warned against the possibility of “instrumentalization.”

In other news:

  • France faces an enduring problem as new riots challenge the principles of “liberty, equality, fraternity” for all.
  • President Macron’s position is weakened amidst the crisis caused by the teenager’s death at the hands of the police.
  • Demonstrations across France demonstrate solidarity at town halls targeted during the riots following the police shooting.
  • Hundreds of young men bid farewell to the French teenager who was killed by the police.

The unrest was triggered by the shooting of a young man, identified as Nahel, last Tuesday. He was stopped while driving a Mercedes in a Parisian suburb. The violence primarily stemmed from a teenage backlash within the suburbs and urban housing projects, as many young individuals with immigrant backgrounds claimed that the French state routinely discriminates against them. The violence seemed to be subsiding by the third night on Tuesday.

However, reports emerged on Sunday of the death of a 27-year-old man in Marseille. The local prosecutor’s office initiated an investigation on Tuesday into “mortal blows with use or threat of a weapon,” as reported by the newspaper La Marseillaise. The likely cause of death was a “violent shock to the thorax caused by a projectile of the ‘flashball’ type,” a riot control weapon commonly used by French police.

It remains unclear whether the victim, who remains unidentified, was present in the rioting and looting area on the night of his death, according to statements from the prosecutor’s office.

Meanwhile, Messiha celebrated in a tweet what he described as a “historic symbol of national generosity” while announcing the closure of the crowdfunding campaign at midnight on Tuesday for the family of the jailed officer, identified only as Florian M.

Messiha claimed that over 100,000 donors contributed to the campaign since its initiation on Friday, resulting in the collection of more than 1.5 million euros. He likened the overwhelming response to a “tsunami” of support for law enforcement officers who “strive daily to preserve the essence of France.”

The crowdfunding campaign took an unpleasant turn when Messiha boasted at one point that his initiative was raising more funds than another campaign established for Nahel’s family. The family filed a complaint, alleging that the crowdfunding was based on deceit to “criminalize” the victim and garner support for the police officer who shot him, as reported by France-Info, which had access to the complaint. It remains uncertain whether an investigation will be launched.

Jean Messiha, who was born in Egypt, previously held an official position in the National Rally party led by far-right leader Marine Le Pen. He later left the party to join a fledgling far-right party but eventually returned to his think tank. He remains a vehement critic of African migration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about far-right figure

What was the purpose of the crowdfunding campaign organized by the far-right figure in France?

The purpose of the crowdfunding campaign was to raise funds for the family of a police officer who was jailed for the shooting of a 17-year-old teenager, which resulted in widespread unrest in France.

Why was the crowdfunding campaign controversial?

The crowdfunding campaign sparked controversy due to allegations that the far-right figure behind it aimed to spread a message of hate and incite tensions between the far-right and residents of impoverished suburbs, particularly those with immigrant backgrounds.

Did the crowdfunding campaign contribute to calming the situation?

According to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, the crowdfunding campaign did not contribute to calming the situation. Instead, concerns were raised about its potential “instrumentalization” and exacerbation of social tensions.

What led to the unrest in France?

The unrest was triggered by the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old identified as Nahel by a police officer. This incident ignited a backlash, primarily among teenagers in suburban areas and urban housing projects, who believed they were victims of routine discrimination by the French state.

Were there any other incidents during the unrest?

Reports emerged of the death of a 27-year-old man in Marseille, potentially linked to the ongoing riots. The local prosecutor’s office initiated an investigation into the cause of death, which was suspected to be related to a projectile used by the police for riot control.

Who organized the crowdfunding campaign, and what is their background?

The crowdfunding campaign was organized by Jean Messiha, a far-right figure in France. Messiha, originally from Egypt, has a political history that includes involvement with the National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen, and he remains a vocal critic of African migration.

More about far-right figure

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10 comments

SportsFanatic July 5, 2023 - 3:57 am

riots, shootings, unrest… it’s all so chaotic. hope they find justice for the victims and peace for the communities affected. crowdfunding should be about unity and helping each other, not dividing people further. let’s focus on healing and moving forward.

Reply
Lilyflower July 5, 2023 - 1:40 pm

smh, the world can be so messed up sometimes. why do people have to use tragedy for their own agenda? the officer’s family deserves support, but not when it’s used to fuel hatred and discrimination. glad the campaign is closed, but the damage is already done.

Reply
JohnDoe82 July 5, 2023 - 9:11 pm

omg this far-right guy is closing his crowdfunding thing, like finally. everyone knew it was just a way to spread hate. and the govt ppl even said it didn’t help calm the situation! so glad it’s over, but what a mess!

Reply
Musiclover23 July 5, 2023 - 11:57 pm

it’s heartbreaking to see the loss of life and the violence that follows. society needs to address the underlying issues that lead to such conflicts. crowdfunding can be a powerful tool, but it should be used responsibly, not to spread hate and deepen divisions.

Reply
Bookworm247 July 6, 2023 - 12:06 am

wow, the shooting of that teen really caused a lot of unrest. it’s sad to see such division in society. hope they find a way to address the underlying issues and work towards peace. the crowdfunding campaign seemed more about stirring up trouble than actually helping.

Reply
SportsFanatic July 6, 2023 - 3:53 pm

riots, shootings, unrest… it’s all so chaotic. hope they find justice for the victims and peace for the communities affected. crowdfunding should be about unity and helping each other, not dividing people further. let’s focus on healing and moving forward.

Reply
JohnDoe82 July 6, 2023 - 6:15 pm

omg this far-right guy is closing his crowdfunding thing, like finally. everyone knew it was just a way to spread hate. and the govt ppl even said it didn’t help calm the situation! so glad it’s over, but what a mess!

Reply
Lilyflower July 6, 2023 - 8:49 pm

smh, the world can be so messed up sometimes. why do people have to use tragedy for their own agenda? the officer’s family deserves support, but not when it’s used to fuel hatred and discrimination. glad the campaign is closed, but the damage is already done.

Reply
Bookworm247 July 6, 2023 - 8:58 pm

wow, the shooting of that teen really caused a lot of unrest. it’s sad to see such division in society. hope they find a way to address the underlying issues and work towards peace. the crowdfunding campaign seemed more about stirring up trouble than actually helping.

Reply
Musiclover23 July 7, 2023 - 4:33 am

it’s heartbreaking to see the loss of life and the violence that follows. society needs to address the underlying issues that lead to such conflicts. crowdfunding can be a powerful tool, but it should be used responsibly, not to spread hate and deepen divisions.

Reply

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