Fundraiser for French police officer who shot teen closed down after raising €1.6 million

July 6, 2023 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Euronews

The death of Nahel led to riots across France.

The family of the dead 17-year-old and politicians have filed complaints over the controversial crowdfunder.

A fundraiser in support of a police officer charged with killing teenager Nahel M near Paris closed on Tuesday.

The fund, set up by Jean Messiha, who previously worked with far-right presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, had received €1.6 million in donations.

A collection for the mother of the 17-year-old boy, whom she was raising alone, had raised some €400,000 by Tuesday evening, reports AFP.

A screengrab of the now offline campaign.GoFundMe

Described as a “fund of shame” by several left-wing leaders, the fundraising campaign for the police officer on GoFundMe was an unexpected success and sparked a heated debate.

GoFundMe refused to take down the crowdfunder, while Messiha blamed the teenager’s family and the justice system for his death.

On Tuesday evening, the lawyer for the family of the young teen shot dead on 27 June during a traffic stop in Nanterre announced he had filed a complaint.

“A complaint was lodged today for organised gang fraud, misuse of personal data processing and concealment of these offences against Jean Messiha and against all persons who will be identified by the investigation as having participated in these offences”, said Mr Yassine Bouzrou.

For his part, Jean Messiha furiously hit back on Twitter.

“The complaint lodged by Nahel’s family has no legal basis,” he said, adding “Organised gang fraud? More than 100,000 donors. So we are more than 100,000 crooks. That’s how we’re being treated. I leave it to you to appreciate the full value of this accusation.”

Before Jean Messiha announced he was closing the fund, MPs Mathilde Panot and Arthur Delaporte said they had referred the matter to the Paris public prosecutor, Laure Beccuau, in order to have the fund closed.

“This kitty could be considered illegal” and “must be closed”, said Delaporte.

“There can be no doubt about the intentions of the initiator of this fund, who is using the Nanterre tragedy to establish and convey political ideas calling for hatred”, the MP for Calvados wrote to the prosecutor.

Mathilde Panot, leader of the LFI deputies at the National Assembly, called the fund “an insult to Nahel’s family and friends”.

The two MPs considered this could constitute incitement to hatred and give rise to a “serious risk of public disorder in view of the particularly volatile situation in the country”.

The killing sparked says of violent unrest across France, with some saying it highlighted serious issues with racism and police conduct inside the country.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and her Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin felt that it was up to the courts to rule on its legality.