Rioting broke out in a Paris suburb tonight after a policeman was accused of executing a teenage driver in cold blood after telling him: ‘I’m going to lodge a bullet in your head’.
The alleged killing was videoed in Nanterre, to the west of the French capital, earlier today after the youth – who is from an Algerian background – was said to have broken traffic rules.
The victim was soon identified as Nael, 17, while the officer was arrested and placed in custody.
As youths began to pour on the streets, setting fire to dustbins and buildings, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin appealed for calm.
He told the National Assembly in Paris that the images posted on social media were ‘extremely shocking and worrying,’ and urged people to ‘respect the grief of the family and the presumption of innocence of the police’.
Rioting has broken out on the streets of Paris tonight following an outcry after a policeman was accused of executing a teenager in cold blood
Youths run wild in a Paris suburb tonight amid widespread anger over the death of 17-year-old Yael
Angry scenes played out in Paris this evening as youths confronted police, with videos shared on social media showing pushing and shoving between young men and officers wearing riot gear.
One clip appeared to show a young woman shouting ‘I hate France’ as an officer mutters ‘return to Africa’.
Seven people have so far been arrested after protesting this evening, authorities said.
Two other people were in the vehicle with Nael at the time of the shooting. A first passenger fled, while the second, also a minor, was arrested and taken into custody.
Nanterre mayor Patrick Jarry said he was ‘shocked’ by the video images and passed his ‘sincere condolences to the boy’s mother’.
‘He hopes that the investigations opened (…) will make it possible to shed light as quickly as possible on the exact circumstances of this tragedy,’ his office said.
The alleged killing was videoed in Nanterre, to the west of the French capital, on Tuesday after the youth – who is from an Algerian background – broke traffic rules
Paramedics tried in vain to save the 17-year-old driver, later identified as Nael, 17,
The 17-year-old was in the Paris suburb of Nanterre earlier today when police shot him dead after he broke road rules and failed to stop, prosecutors said.
Emergency services tried to resuscitate him at the scene but he died shortly afterwards.
The officer accused of firing on the driver has been detained on homicide charges, the Nanterre prosecutors’ office said.
An authenticated video circulating on social media shows two police officers trying to stop the vehicle and one pointing his weapon at the driver through the window
He shouts ‘I’m going to lodge a bullet in your head’ before firing at point blank range when as the driver steers away.
The car moved for 10 yards, before crashing to a halt, with shocked passers-by looking on.
The IGPN national police inspectorate has opened an investigation into possible intentional killing by a person holding a position of public authority.
Pictures and video purporting to show the alleged killing have been widely shared on social media, prompting anger from teenager who took to the streets tonight
The yellow car moved a short distance after a shot was fired into it in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, before crashing at a crossroads
A separate probe is being carried out by regional police into the driver’s failure to halt and alleged attempt to kill a person holding a position of public authority
Paris police chief Laurent Nunez said the action of the officer ‘raises questions’, while claiming that the officer may have ‘felt threatened.’
The family’s lawyer Yassine Bouzrou told the same channel that while all parties needed to wait for the result of the investigation the images ‘clearly showed a policeman killing a young man in cold blood.’
‘This is a long way from any kind of legitimate defence’ he said, adding the family had filed a complaint, accusing police of ‘lying’ by initially claiming the car had tried to run down the officers.
‘It’s so sad, he was so young,’ said Samia Bough, 62, the teenager’s former neighbour, who came to lay a bouquet of yellow roses at the scene.
In 2022, a record 13 deaths were recorded after refusals to stop for traffic controls. Five police officers have been charged in these cases.
Authorities and police unions blame the 2022 figures on more dangerous driving behaviour, but researchers also point to a 2017 law modifying the conditions of the use of their weapon by the police.
Two weeks ago, a 19-year-old was killed by a police officer he had injured in the legs with his car in the western town of Angouleme.
The left reacted with anger, saying police had no right to kill people simply because they refused to stop.
‘Yes, a refusal to stop is against the law. But death is not one of the sanctions provided for by the penal code,’ tweeted the coordinator of the hard left France Unbowed (LFI) party, Manuel Bompard.
‘A refusal to stop does not provide a licence to kill,’ said Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure.