Politician’s Home Attacked With Wife And Family Inside

(NewsReady.com) – Violent protests have rocked France over the past week. Anger boiled over after police shot and killed a 17-year-old teenager following a traffic stop. Furious rioters targeted a public official in a deranged attack.

On Saturday, July 1, suspects attacked the home of 39-year-old Vincent Jeanbrun, the mayor of L’Haÿ-les-Roses. They used a vehicle to run down the gates of his home, then lit it on fire. They reportedly wanted the blaze to spread to the house, where they thought Jeanbrun was located.

The mayor, however, was at the office monitoring the other riots in the city. His wife, Melanie Nowak, and two children, ages 5 and 7, were at home when the attack occurred. She grabbed the kids when she saw the flames and ran through the garden. Prosecutor Stéphane Hardouin told reporters Nowack broke her leg while trying to escape, and one of the children also suffered an injury.

Mayor Jeanbrun called the attack on his home “a murder attempt of unspeakable cowardice.” He went on to say the rioters crossed a line, and his resolve to “protect and serve the Republic is greater than before.”

French citizens and officials marched with the mayor in the days after the attack. Jeanbrun spoke to supporters and accused the attackers of trying to burn his wife and children alive. He said that the country’s democracy is also under attack.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne was among those who supported the mayor. She traveled to the town on Sunday and spoke to reporters, saying everyone was “shocked” by the attack. She reassured the other mayors that the government wouldn’t “allow any violence to go unchallenged.”

The protests began after the June 27 shooting death of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, who was of Algerian descent. Police in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, pulled the teenager over and shot him during the traffic stop. At first, law enforcement claimed the officer shot the child because he was driving his car at them. However, subsequent video footage of the incident proved that narrative false. The Guardian reported the footage shows two cops standing next to a car, pointing their weapons. A voice says, “You are going to get a bullet in the head.” One of the officers then fired his gun at the driver, who died from his injuries.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been detained on suspicion of voluntary homicide.

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