Mbappé and France teammates Maignan, Koundé express criticism after police kill teenager 

"I hurt for my France," Mbappé, who grew up in the Paris suburb of Bondy, wrote Wednesday in a Twitter message accompanied by broken hearts emoticons.

Published: 28th June 2023 08:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2023 11:04 AM   |  A+A-

Kylian Mbappe. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

PARIS: Kylian Mbappé and other prominent French soccer players have expressed their indignation after the death of a 17-year-old delivery driver shot and killed during a police check in a Paris suburb.

"I hurt for my France," Mbappé, who grew up in the Paris suburb of Bondy, wrote Wednesday in a Twitter message accompanied by broken hearts emoticons.

"Unacceptable situation. All my thoughts go to the family and loved ones of Naël, this little angel gone much too soon." 

The death prompted nationwide concern and triggered unrest in multiple towns.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 31 people were arrested, 25 police officers injured and 40 cars burned in overnight disturbances.

The tensions focused around the suburban area of Nanterre, where lawyers say the teen, identified as Naël M., was killed Tuesday during a traffic check.

The police officer suspected of firing on him was detained and faces potential manslaughter charges, according to the Nanterre prosecutor's office.

Mike Maignan, another French international player, tweeted about the sense of injustice he felt.

"A bullet in the head...It's always for the same people that being in the wrong leads to death," he wrote.

Maignan's France teammate Jules Koundé criticized the media coverage of the teenager's death.

"As if this latest police blunder wasn't enough, the 24-hour news channels are taking advantage of it by making a big fuss," he wrote.

"The 'journalists' ask 'questions' with the sole aim of distorting the truth, criminalizing the victim and finding extenuating circumstances where none exist. An age-old method for masking the real problem. Why don't we turn off the TV and find out what's going on?" Darmanin said 1,200 police were deployed overnight and 2,000 would be out in force Wednesday in the Paris region and around other big cities to "maintain order." 

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