A 14-year-old schoolgirl and a teenager died following clashes between rival gangs on Monday and Tuesday in the Essonne department, south of Paris. The Minister of the Interior announced the sending of a hundred police and gendarmes as reinforcements.
A new clash between gangs of young people in Essonne left a 14-year-old dead on Tuesday February 23. This death comes less than 24 hours after the death in this same department of a 14-year-old schoolgirl, stabbed during a brawl between minors.
The clashes took place in two different cities, Saint-Chéron on Monday, and Boussy-Saint-Antoine on Tuesday, about 45 kilometers apart. The two cases do not seem to be linked, according to the prosecution.
Sending reinforcements of the police
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced the dispatch on Tuesday evening in these two towns of reinforcements of the police: 60 gendarmes in Saint-Chéron and 30 police officers in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, according to his ministry .
In Boussy-Saint-Antoine, the 14-year-old boy was killed “most likely with a stab in the stomach,” the Departmental Directorate of Public Security (DDSP) told AFP. Another 13-year-old was injured in the throat and taken by helicopter to a hospital in serious condition.
According to the DDSP, the perpetrator of the fatal blows surrendered to the police.
I wanted to be present with @GDarmanin in Dourdan to support our Essonnian fellow citizens, elected officials, and public officials. The tragedy that our territory and its youth are experiencing is leading to an implacable response from our security forces this evening. #Essonne pic.twitter.com/lSj53PC4ZO
– Amélie de Montchalin (@AdeMontchalin) February 23, 2021
In total, seven police custody were in progress Tuesday evening, according to the prosecutor’s office in Évry, which specified that the brawl had opposed “about thirty young people” from Épinay-sous-Sénart and Quincy-sous-Sénart .
Monday, in the same department, an altercation between a dozen young people had broken out near the college in the city of Saint-Chéron (5,000 inhabitants), located near Etampes. A teenage girl who had been stabbed to the stomach had died in the evening in hospital.
This brawl, Monday, had opposed a dozen young people from Dourdan and Saint-Chéron.
Six young people – aged 13 to 16 – were taken into custody. Three of them had been arrested at a station while three others had spontaneously surrendered to the gendarmerie.
The opinel – murder weapon – was found and one of the young people admitted “his involvement in the fatal blow”, reported the prosecutor of Évry, Caroline Nisand. He was already known for two offenses but unrelated to acts of violence.
The killed teenager, the last of four siblings, was enrolled in third grade at Dourdan college, the prosecutor told the press.
Bands of miners
According to the rectorate of Versailles, she “had just been admitted to join a relay class”, a support system that helps fight against dropping out of school.
For the prosecutor, this phenomenon of gangs of minors “gangrene” the department. “We are in a phenomenon of claiming an authority over a territory, a city or sometimes a simple neighborhood, without this necessarily being linked to drug trafficking”, explained the magistrate.
After the first death, the prefect of Essonne, Eric Jalon, had let it be known that he had asked the gendarmerie “to strengthen surveillance” in the area of Saint-Chéron, Dourdan and the neighboring towns “to avoid any spread of this short-term phenomenon “.
He announced a meeting next Monday with “the mayors of the ten or so municipalities most affected by this phenomenon in the department” as well as “transport companies and National Education”, in order to provide “each of these sectors with a real anti-brawl device “.
“The mimicry of social networks”
Traveling in Essonne, Mr. Darmanin underlined the difficulty of anticipating these brawls between gangs of young people, which “mainly concern Île-de-France”, and in which, according to him, “the mimicry of social networks “plays an important role, as well as” encrypted messaging “.
These two new deaths come a month after the beating of Yuriy, a 15-year-old schoolboy, in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. A case that had shone the spotlight on the phenomenon of gangs in the capital.
Citing this attack on Yuriy, Mr. Darmanin referred to an “explosion of violent encounters, without knowing the terrible figures of 2015 and 2016”. In 2016, nine young people were killed during brawls, according to the minister.
A plan to fight against violent gangs was launched in 2010 by the Paris police headquarters, with the creation of a unit to monitor this phenomenon throughout the Parisian conurbation (capital and inner suburbs).
For five years, however, the number of gangs has appeared stable, both in the Paris conurbation and in the capital, according to a police source, specifying that “46 active gangs” have been identified including “15” in Paris.
In the capital, there were two deaths in 2020, against one in 2019, three in 2018 and four in 2017. The number of injured rose to 72 in 2020, against 59 in 2019, 71 in 2018, 109 in 2017, according to the same source.