Who was Nahel Merzouk and why did his killing spark riots across France?

Listen | 17:52

The shooting dead at close range of Nahel M, a 17-year-old boy of North African descent in Paris has prompted a week of rioting which has spread far beyond Paris to other French cities and further to Brussels and Lausanne.

Video posted on social media showed two police officers leaning into the teenager’s car, with one of them shooting as the driver pulls away. The officer who fired the shot has been charged with murder.

The handling of the riots presents a challenge for French president Macron and the UN has caused controversy in France with its call on the country to “seriously attack the profound problems of racism and discrimination among the forces of order”.

Lara Marlowe who lives in Paris explains the origins of the riots – and how the causes go far beyond that fatal shooting last Tuesday. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast