A 17-year-old who refused to stop when told to do so by traffic police was shot and killed by police overnight, sparking protests and disturbances in the Paris region.
A police officer can be seen aiming a gun at the car’s driver in a video that is going around on social media before a gunshot is heard. The vehicle suddenly stops abruptly.
Despite assistance from medical services, the adolescent, Nal M, passed away from bullet wounds to the chest.
On homicide-related allegations, the cop who is alleged to have shot him is in custody.
Tuesday night in Nanterre, the region just west of Paris where the adolescent was slain, there were a number of rallies in response to the killing. Following the disorder, 24 persons were taken into custody.
Nal M. is the second victim of a police gunshot during a traffic stop in France this year. This led to the deaths of a record 13 people last year.
Le Monde reports that the authorities first hypothesized that the adolescent intentionally rammed his car into them with the purpose to harm them.
The AFP news agency verified film, however, paints a different picture.
Two police officers may be seen at the car. As the driver tries to drive away, one points his rifle at him through the window and seems to fire at point-blank range.
The agency also claims that someone can be heard on the video saying “you’re going to be shot in the head,” however it is not immediately clear who is saying it.
Two more people were in the car when it was shot; one of them ran away, and the other—also a minor—was taken into custody and is being held by police.
Overnight, the incident caused rage and mayhem, resulting in the burning of bus shelters, cars, and trash cans. There were also fireworks launched close to the police station. Tear gas was deployed by riot police to disperse the demonstrators, some of whom had built barricades all night.
The cities of Asnières, Colombes, Suresnes, Aubervilliers, Clichy-sous-Bois, and Mantes-la-Jolie also had a number of incidences of unrest.
Following the teen’s murder, authorities launched two different investigations: one into a potential official killing, and another into the driver’s failure to halt his car and the claimed attempt to kill a police officer.
Although he said the officer may have felt endangered, Paris police chief Laurent Nuez said the officer’s actions “raise questions” to French television station BFMTV.
Yassine Bouzrou, the family’s attorney, told the same channel that the video “clearly showed a policeman killing a young man in cold blood” and claimed that this was an invalid defense.
He continued by saying the family had complained to the police for “lying” after initially stating the automobile had attempted to run down the policemen.
Jennifer Cambla, a different attorney working on behalf of the victim’s family, told the local media that the death could not be justified and called it a “execution”.
Interior Minister of France Gérald Darmanin described the social media footage as “extremely shocking” on Tuesday.
He pleaded with people to “respect the family’s grief and the police’s presumption of innocence.”
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a prominent member of the left, sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the teen’s family. He stated in a tweet that “no officer has the right to kill unless in self-defense.”
“The state’s authority is tarnished by this out-of-control police force. It requires a comprehensive revamp,” he continued.
In the western French town of Angouleme, two weeks ago, a 19-year-old driver was fatally shot by police after striking an officer during a traffic stop, according to reports.
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