Twelve people have been arrested after violence broke out in Lyon, France, where protesters burned cars and launched fireworks in response to the alleged role of police in a local teenager’s serious scooter crash on Wednesday.
The Lyon prosecutor’s office announced on Friday that it was launching an investigation into the teenager’s crash and injuries. The 13-year-old boy is reportedly in a coma after the incident.
Eight juveniles and four adults were arrested in the area after cars were torched and police were attacked with fireworks on Thursday.
One local officer suffered minor injuries and national police were called, with officers deploying tear gas to disperse the protesters, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.
More than a dozen people could be seen letting off fireworks in a central square in Lyon’s La Duchère neighborhood in footage posted to social media on Thursday.
Cars and bins were set ablaze, and fires were lit along one of the area’s main roads.
“Un carnage ce quartier”
Scènes de guérilla en pleine journée.
A force de laisser faire, de ne pas sanctionner lourdement la première incartade, il n’y a plus de limite à la violence. pic.twitter.com/rmIuqxnHLp
— Dubief Marc (@DubiefMarc) March 4, 2021
— Andréa Kotarac (@AndreaKotarac) March 4, 2021
Another video showed thick, black billowing smoke from what appeared to be an apartment complex, where rioting was reported.
— Julien Damboise (@JDANDOU) March 4, 2021
La guerre a la duchere pic.twitter.com/U9YbVJua3l
— mohamed (@quichette69) March 4, 2021
— ᴄʟᴇ́ᴍᴇɴᴛ (@OmgStype) March 4, 2021
The unrest kicked off after a 13-year-old, who reportedly wasn’t wearing a helmet, fell from his scooter on Wednesday and was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
Police attending the incident were reportedly pelted with objects by angry locals who accused them of being responsible for the accident by chasing the boy and crashing into him – allegations they deny.
Mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, visited the area on Thursday and condemned the violence.
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