France’s national motto is Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, fraternity). The recent riots in the country have, however, exposed the country’s profound socioeconomic fault lines. After the emergence of the video of the execution-style killing of a 17-year old Algerian-Moroccan-French youth, Nahel Merzouk, in broad daylight, by a French policeman at a traffic stop in a Parisian suburb, six nights of rioting erupted across the country, resulting in €1bn worth of damage.

The officer who killed Nahel was charged with homicide. This occurred only because of video evidence of the motorist driving away from the policeman who pointed a gun to his head and threatened to shoot him. Before the video emerged, French police had publicly lied that Nahel had driven straight at the policeman...

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