Nanterre, France: Police officer held after 17-year-old fatally shot near Paris during traffic stop

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French authorities investigating the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop near Paris on Tuesday have detained one officer, as clashes broke out overnight between law enforcement personnel and youth angered over the death.

The police officer is in custody on suspicion of “culpable homicide,” following the incident at around 8:18 a.m. local time on Tuesday in the suburb of Nanterre, according to a statement from the local prosecutor’s officer. Three people were in the car, a Mercedes AMG, at the time of the incident, it said.

The death of the 17-year-old was pronounced at 9:15 a.m. local time “following at least one gunshot wound” and despite the intervention of emergency medics, the Nanterre prosecutor’s office said.

A passenger in the vehicle was taken into custody and later released, while another passenger, who is believed to have fled the scene, is missing, the statement said.

An autopsy and additional examinations, including a toxicology report, have been ordered by the prosecutor’s office.

The incident is being investigated by national police, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter.

“Following the death of a young driver in Nanterre, who was being checked by two police officers, the IGPN has launched an investigation to shed light on the circumstances of this tragedy,” he said.

Earlier, Paris Police Chief Laurent Nunez told CNN affiliate BFMTV in an interview that the officer fired when the teenager refused to follow police instructions.

“This vehicle made a first refusal to comply, then it was blocked in the flow of traffic where there was a new control attempt by the two police officers,” he said. “At that time the driver, who had first turned off the engine, restarted the vehicle, then left. It was in this context that the policeman used his firearm.”

Angered by the teenager’s death, protesters took to the streets in Nanterre Tuesday. Images show firefighters extinguishing a burning car during the protests.

Around 350 police and paramilitary officers were mobilized, mostly in Nanterre, to quell the clashes, which continued through the early hours of Wednesday, Nunez told French broadcaster CNews on Wednesday.

He said 24 people were detained.

“This mobilization will be prolonged for as long as necessary,” the police chief said, as he called for “calm.”

“We have to respect the principle of the presumption of innocence,” he said.


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