Health Management

Police in France Shoot and Kill 17-Year-Old Driver, Stoking Anger


The authorities in France have opened a legal investigation after a 17-year-old driver was shot and killed by a police officer throughout a site visitors cease close to Paris, an episode that touched off an evening of violence and fueled a longstanding debate on the usage of lethal power by the nation’s safety forces.

Preliminary information stories, based mostly on what had been described as nameless police sources, had advised that the motive force plowed into two officers along with his automobile on Tuesday throughout the cease in Nanterre, west of the capital. However an unconfirmed video of the taking pictures that appeared later led to accusations that the police had acted too aggressively, and prosecutors in Nanterre have opened a manslaughter investigation.

The video, believed to have been filmed by a witness, unfold shortly on social networks and was picked up by the French information media. It reveals two helmeted law enforcement officials on the left aspect of a yellow automobile that’s stopped on the road. The video was additionally obtained by The New York Instances from an individual who stated she was near the witness and who spoke on the situation of anonymity out of concern of repercussions for sharing the footage.

The officers, each peering into the motive force’s window, are heard shouting, though what they stated to the sufferer, recognized by attorneys for his household as Naël M., is unclear. One of many officers leans onto the windshield and factors what seems to be a firearm on the driver, and because the automobile begins shifting away, a loud bang is audible.

That officer is in police custody, although he has not been charged. The household of the motive force stated that it was going to file a grievance accusing the police officer of homicide.

Gérald Darmanin, the French inside minister, stated that 2,000 law enforcement officials and gendarmes can be deployed throughout France on Wednesday night to comprise unrest, after the taking pictures shortly infected long-simmering anger in suburbs the place relations between the police and residents are sometimes fraught with distrust.

On Tuesday, that rage shortly spilled into violence, particularly within the Hauts-de-Seine space, which incorporates Nanterre. Greater than 30 folks had been arrested in a single day, in keeping with the French authorities, after protesters threw rocks and fireworks at riot police, who responded with tear fuel.

Protesters additionally burned some 40 automobiles and set fireplace to building shacks and a few buildings. A Metropolis Corridor annex in Mantes-la-Jolie, a city additional west of Paris, was solely destroyed.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, expressed “the nation’s sympathy” for {the teenager}’s household. “Justice have to be achieved,” Mr. Macron advised reporters in Marseille, in southern France. “Nothing justifies the dying of an adolescent,” he stated, including: “What all of us need is calm.”

Mr. Darmanin, the French inside minister, chatting with reporters in Paris, stated, “Now we have all seen these extraordinarily stunning pictures.” He added, “When a younger man dies in situations like these, emotion is regular.”

Mr. Darmanin stated that the police officer can be punished if warranted. “An act just like the one which we noticed, if the investigation confirms the movies that we’ve got seen, is rarely justified,” he stated. The 2 officers are skilled members of the site visitors police of their late 30s and early 40s, and had no document of misconduct, Mr. Darmanin added.

The prosecutor’s workplace in Nanterre stated in an announcement that the taking pictures occurred on Tuesday morning, between 8:15 and eight:20, close to Place Nelson Mandela, a sq. in Nanterre not removed from La Défense, a enterprise district northwest of Paris.

Two folks had been within the car, a Mercedes AMG, along with the motive force, the prosecutor’s workplace stated: Certainly one of them was launched after questioning by the police; the opposite was nonetheless being sought by the authorities after fleeing the scene.

Laurent Nuñez, the Paris police prefect, advised the French TV channel CNews on Wednesday that the 2 officers had tried to cease the automobile as a result of the motive force had dedicated a number of site visitors violations and had refused to cease a primary time, earlier than getting caught in site visitors. That’s when the 2 law enforcement officials had been capable of method the car, he stated.

Mr. Nuñez stated an investigation would decide the circumstances of the incident.

“It isn’t regular to die throughout a site visitors cease when you’re 17,” Mr. Nuñez famous.

The motive force died an hour after being shot, the prosecutor’s workplace stated. An post-mortem was anticipated on Wednesday, however preliminary checks didn’t point out that the motive force had been underneath the affect of any drug or alcohol, the prosecutor’s workplace stated.

Yassine Bouzrou, a lawyer for the household of the motive force, stated that along with the grievance towards the police officer who fired the shot, the household would additionally file a swimsuit accusing the opposite officer of complicity and one other authorized motion accusing the officers of mendacity concerning the incident of their preliminary statements.

Lethal firearm deaths are unusual in France, and the taking pictures on Tuesday shortly captured the nation’s consideration, together with that of celebrities.

The actor Omar Sy and the soccer participant Kylian Mbappé each expressed help for Naël’s household on social media.

“My France hurts,” Mr. Mbappé wrote on Twitter, calling the incident an “unacceptable scenario.”

Fixed Méheut contributed reporting.

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