Political scientists have discovered that most political categories (political authority, democratic legitimacy, identity building) are closely linked with the concept of narrative. We demonstrate the relevance of narrative analysis in politics by analyzing two cases of urban riots (Paris 2005, Baltimore 2015). We propose a micro-oriented perspective focusing on people’s everyday life experiences and cultural practices of storytelling. The analysis dissects state narratives, which discredit protests through the language of criminality. Our case examples show that sudden violence in urban riots is often a desperate expression of marginalized voices articulating moral claims of justice, particularly concerning everyday racism.