The pot of shame

The pot of shame

Controversy around the fundraising for the policeman charged with intentional homicide following the death of young Nael, aged 17.

The tragic death of Nael during a police check on Tuesday morning has continued to arouse strong reactions for several days. Unfortunately, the situation deteriorated and took a dangerous turn, with the initial protests escalating into riots. Acts of violence, such as ransacking shops, burning cars and even attacking administrative buildings, have been reported.

On the sidelines of these events, a controversial initiative has emerged. Jean Messiha, columnist on the CNews channel and former supporter of Éric Zemmour within the Reconquest party, launched a kitty in support of the police officer involved. This fundraiser has been hugely successful, thanks in large part to extensive media coverage, and has already surpassed €450,000 at the time of writing this article.

This situation generated lively debates last night and provoked varied reactions on social networks. Indeed, the kitty has received massive support, not only from the policeman’s colleagues, but also from part of the French population who believe that the latter has been unfairly treated both by politicians and by the media.

However, this raises a fundamental problem, given that we are faced with a tragic death, that of Nael, a 17-year-old young man, who died unjustly during this police check. In a legal system based on the rule of law, it is indeed difficult to understand how a collection of funds can be authorized for the first person responsible for the death of the young man, who has been indicted for intentional homicide.
This decision raises questions about consistency with the principles of justice and equity. I

How can the government remain indifferent to this umpteenth provocation from the French far right and this support for the person who caused the death of young Nael? How is it possible to raise funds for a person who has caused a real nightmare in the life of a family? Can’t not taking the feelings of the family of the deceased into account when raising funds be considered a new form of violence?

In this perspective imposed by certain far-right groups in France, let’s continue our reasoning by considering the implications of organizing a fundraiser for individuals who have broken the law, committed crimes or caused harm. It is indeed inconceivable that this could happen in a system that respects the rule of law. However, it is legitimate to wonder why such a situation was permitted in the Nael case. Why was fundraising allowed despite the circumstances?

Let us remember the event that occurred in 2019 when the boxer Christophe Dettinger repelled a line of gendarmes with his bare hands to protect a woman who had fallen to the ground during a charge in Paris. A pot intended to support the family of this “hero” of the Yellow Vests had aroused considerable popular enthusiasm: 130,000 euros had been collected in 24 hours on the online donation platform Leetchi. However, the authorities decided to close this kitty and the donations were never given to the family. The prosecution had opened an investigation and summoned many contributors.

We would like to draw the attention of public authorities to this worrying trend. Sometimes well-intentioned initiatives can be hijacked by far-right groups to reinforce the marginalization of young people from working-class neighborhoods, even when they themselves are victims of this marginalization. The case of young Nael is clear proof of this reality.
Indeed, this situation raises fundamental ethical questions that affect the whole of French society. The fundraiser in question is not only an insult to the memory of Nael and his family, but it is also possible that this is precisely the objective sought by the initiators of this kitty.

It is indeed essential to take the time to think carefully about the motivations behind this fundraising and to assess the potential consequences it could have. In some situations, such initiatives may be deliberately designed to sow discord and accentuate divisions within French society, by further deepening the cleavages between the different components and origins.

Indeed, it is incumbent on the authorities to take appropriate firm measures in such situations. It is crucial that they act quickly by closing this kitty in order to preserve social cohesion and pay tribute to the memory of young Nael. It is essential to ease tensions and respect the feelings of bereaved loved ones. By taking this step, the authorities could help restore confidence and foster a climate conducive to dialogue and reconciliation.