A fundraising campaign for the French police officer, who shot dead Nahel M., a teenager of Arab origin, and triggered nationwide unrest, has sparked growing anger on social media.
The appeal on GoFundMe was set up by Jean Messiha, a former adviser to the French far-right politician Marine Le Pen. The campaign has so far received pledges of more than $1 million.
The fundraising campaign prompted outrage among politicians and activists, amid calls for the closure of the fundraiser.
"The assumed message is kill Arabs, and you will become millionaires, and the government watches this horror pass without saying anything when it had closed the yellow vest pot in 2 days who hit a policeman. Repugnant,” left-wing politician David Guiraud said on Twitter, referring to the closure of the fund for a former boxer who had punched several police officers during “yellow vest” anti-government protests back in 2019.
Eric Bothorel, from the En Marche party, also took to Twitter to slam the campaign.
“Jean Messiha blows on the embers. It is a generator of riots. The pot of several hundred thousand euros for the police officer indicted in the homicide of young Nahel is indecent and scandalous.”
Olivier Faure, head of the Socialist Party, also slammed GoFundMe for “hosting a pot of shame.”
“You maintain an already gaping fracture by participating in support of a police officer indicted for intentional homicide. Close!”
Asked about the campaign, Nahel’s grandmother, Nadia, said “My heart aches.”
Nahel M, a 17-year-old boy of Algerian origin, was killed late in June by French police officer during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.
A wave of protests have rocked France since then, renewing debate over racism and police brutality.