A number of incidents of hooliganism have occurred in France after a motorcyclist ran into a police car in Paris on April 18. The motorcyclist, however, has asked people to remain calm.
A motorcycle ran into a police car on April 18 in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, a Parisian suburb, sparking unrest throughout France as more people oppose the lockdown.
Intentional attacks have been reported in Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Versailles, and Lyon.
A fire destroyed a primary school and hooligans aimed fireworks at police in two separate incidents in Paris, on Tuesday, April 21. In Toulouse, vandals set cars and trash bins on fire.
In Lyon, 30 people destroyed and vandalized a bus shelter, public trash bins, several cars, and the entrance of the local children’s nursery on April 20 while shouting, “That’s for Villeneuve-la-Garenne.”
The mayor of Lyon, Alexandre Vincendet, later referred to the culprits as “cretins, idiots, and imbeciles.”
Police are still investigating the motorcycle crash in Villeneuve-la-Garenne that triggered the sudden wave of hooliganism, as some witnesses claim the policeman purposely opened his car door.
The motorcyclist, however, has asked people to remain calm amid the growing unrest over the strict lockdown in France’s capital city.
“I understand that you’ve smashed up cars. I ask you to go home and calm down,” said the unnamed motorcyclist in a video.
The French government has enforced national guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but local laws vary. The measures apply to French citizens and visitors throughout the country.
Generally, people are only allowed to venture outside of their homes for essential errands, such as buying food, water, and toiletries. When an individual leaves their home, they are required to sign a dated permission form.