The decade's most triggering comedy
A severed finger from a “living human being” was sent to the official residence of French President Emmanuel Macron, according to a report from the London Evening Standard.
On Monday, the amputated finger arrived at Elysee Palace in Paris, though no note was included in the package, the outlet notes. Police at the palace reportedly placed the finger in a refrigerator immediately for preservation to aid in attempts to identify the sender. France has been rocked with riots and protests stemming from a variety of issues throughout the year.
“The finger was initially put in a fridge where the police put their snacks,” a source told the newspaper. “This was to make sure it was preserved and could be analyzed as quickly as possible.”
It was later revealed that the finger came from a living person, who had reportedly been identified, contacted, and received “full medical support.” The palace source said the identity of the person wasn’t going to be revealed to the public partly because of “medical confidentiality,” as the Evening Standard reports.
“It’s not at all clear why this finger was sent to the president,” the source said.
Officials opened an investigation into the incident on Monday. According to a report from the French magazine Valeurs actuelles, which first reported the news, the owner of the finger is the same person who sent the package and reportedly suffers from mental illness.
Macron has faced serious tension and upheaval in the country this year, starting with nationwide protests in April against the nation’s pension reforms, which increased the age of retirement from 62 to 64. For more labor-intensive jobs, like sanitation work, the retirement age rose from 57-59. In defiance of the change, protestors in the country stormed the headquarters of corporations, vandalized government buildings, and over a million people demonstrated in the streets.
Then, in the wake of a June police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, who was of Moroccan and Algerian descent, mobs of rioters took to the streets, looting stores and committing other acts of violence. According to CNN, 400 bank branches and 500 corner shops had been attacked by rioters.
The riots, which have been dubbed “France’s George Floyd Moment,” have cost French businesses an estimated $1 billion. Law enforcement in the country has since taken control of the situation, detaining over 3,600 people, according to PBS.
Last weekend, the French government banned fireworks ahead of Friday’s Bastille Day celebrations, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789, signaling the beginning of the French Revolution.