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Violent protests in Paris suburb after teen is shot dead by police during a traffic stop

  • Protests and unrest have gripped the Paris region following the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old by police during a traffic stop
  • The incident, which occurred after the teenager failed to comply with police orders to stop, has ignited controversy and raised concerns about police conduct
  • The officer involved in the shooting has been taken into custody and faces homicide charges

28 Jun 2023

Protests and unrest have gripped the Paris region following the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old by police during a traffic stop. The incident, which occurred after the teenager failed to comply with police orders to stop, has ignited controversy and raised concerns about police conduct.

Video footage circulating on social media captures the tense encounter, showing a police officer pointing a gun at the driver before a gunshot is heard, causing the car to crash. The victim, identified as Naël M, succumbed to chest wounds despite receiving assistance from emergency services. The officer involved in the shooting has been taken into custody and faces homicide charges.

This incident marks the second police shooting resulting in death during a traffic stop in France this year, while last year saw a record number of 13 such fatalities. Initially, police claimed that the teenager had driven his car towards them with the intention to harm, but verified footage contradicts this account.

The video evidence shows two officers at the vehicle, with one pointing his weapon at the driver through the window and firing at close range as the car attempts to drive away. In the video, an unidentified person can be heard saying, "you're going to be shot in the head," although it remains unclear who made the statement.

In response to the teenager's death, authorities have initiated two separate investigations—one examining the potential killing by a public official and another focusing on the driver's failure to stop and alleged attempt to harm a police officer.

Paris police chief Laurent Nuñez, speaking to reports, acknowledged that the officer's actions raise questions and suggested that the officer may have felt threatened. The family's lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, dismissed the claim of self-defense, stating that the video clearly depicts a policeman unlawfully killing a young man. The family has filed a complaint against the police for providing false information initially by claiming that the car had attempted to run over the officers.

Just two weeks prior, another police shooting occurred in Angouleme, western France, where a 19-year-old driver was fatally shot after allegedly hitting an officer's legs during a traffic stop.

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