France dealt with its fifth consecutive night of widespread rioting, arson and attacks on police following the officer-involved shooting of a 17-year-old French-Algerian teenager. In the Paris suburb of L’Haÿ-les-Roses, rioters attempted to burn down the home of town mayor Vincent Jeanbrun while his wife and young children were inside, according to a report from French newspaper Le Figaro.
“My wife and children in shock and hurt,” the mayor wrote in a social media post shortly after 2 a.m. local time. The tweet was soon deleted, though members of the mayors staff later confirmed details of the attack to Le Figaro.
Jeanbrun was at the town hall at the time of the attack, which he ordered to be fortified with barbed wire after dozens of government buildings had been attacked Molotov cocktails and other explosives devices in preceding days. The mayor had also called on the French government to declare a state of emergency in order to quell the rioting on Saturday.
In addition to the barbed wire, the town hall was also secured by seven police officers, though the mayor’s home was left without police protection.
Shortly after midnight, a “group of hostile individuals” gathered in front of the mayor’s home, where his wife and young children were located. The rioters then used a car to ram through the garden gate, which they then set on fire “with the clear intention of setting fire to the mayor’s home,” members of Jeanbrun’s staff told Le Figaro.
Jeanbrun’s wife then evacuated the building with the couple’s young children and was injured after the mob of rioters chased them. After escaping, the mayor’s wife was transported to a local hospital and spent the night “in a safe place,” the outlet reported.
The mayor later confirmed the attack in a press release Sunday morning. “Last night, a milestone was reached in horror and ignominy. My home was attacked and my family was the victim of an assassination attempt,” Jeanbrun wrote. “My determination to protect and serve the Republic is greater than ever. I will not back down.”
Jeanbrun added that one of his children was also injured in the attack.
Cette nuit, un cap a été franchi dans l'horreur et l'ignominie. Mon domicile a été attaqué et ma famille victime d'une tentative d’assassinat.
— Vincent Jeanbrun (@VincentJeanbrun) July 2, 2023
‼️ [ 🇫🇷 FRANCE ]
🔸 Vidéo du domicile de Vincent Jeanbrun, Maire de l'Haÿ-les-Roses, attaqué à la voiture bélier. L'élu affirmait sur Twitter que sa femme et ses enfants avaient été blessés. Son véhicule personnel a brûlé lors de l'attaque. (📷 @ClementLanot) pic.twitter.com/sDyxd3IbnA
— (Little) Think Tank (@L_ThinkTank) July 2, 2023
Populist politician and former presidential candidate Éric Zemmour offered support to the mayor and called for the “savages” who attacked his home to be brought to justice. “A milestone has yet been crossed. These savages dared to touch his family, because he has the only fault of being mayor and therefore of representing France,” Zemmour wrote. “All my support for Vincent Jeanbrun, mayor of L’Haÿ-les-Roses.”
Un cap a encore été franchi. Ces sauvages ont osé toucher à sa famille, parce qu’il a le seul tort d’être maire et donc de représenter la France. Tout mon soutien à Vincent Jeanbrun, maire de L’Haÿ-les-Roses. #emeutes https://t.co/450pqMBYhe
— Eric Zemmour (@ZemmourEric) July 2, 2023
French police reported over 400 additional arrests overnight Saturday as the riots comprised of predominantly African and Middle Eastern migrants continued for a fifth consecutive night. A total of 1,300 arrests were made the night before as more than 45,000 police officers were deployed in cities and towns across the nation.
Officials reported that there were more than 3,800 fires on public roads on Friday night, while more than 500 buildings were set alight, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
On Friday, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin did not rule out the possibility of an emergency declaration. “Quite simply, we’re not ruling out any hypothesis and we’ll see after tonight what the President of the Republic chooses,” he said.