Firefighters walk with a police officer in riot gear as they arrive to put out fires after a demonstration in Nanterre, west of Paris, on June 27, 2023. — AFP
  • Nanterre prosecutor says boy died from gunshot wounds.
  • Sporadic clashes break out between youths and police.
  • 13 deaths from police shootings in France traffic stops last year.

PARIS: The French authorities are probing a police officer over charges of homicide for shooting dead a teenager on Tuesday morning in the Nanterre suburb of Paris, the local prosecutor’s office said.

The officer fired at the 17-year-old after he failed to comply with an order to stop the car over several alleged traffic violations.

The Nanterre prosecutor said the boy subsequently died from his wounds.

BFM TV broadcast images of sporadic clashes breaking out between youths and police on Tuesday evening, as anger over the death of the teenager grew in the local community.

A video shared on social media, verified by Reuters, shows two police officers beside the car, a Mercedes AMG, with one shooting as the driver pulled away.

After a record 13 deaths from police shootings in France during traffic stops last year, this is the second fatal shooting in such circumstances in 2023.

Three people were killed by police shooting after refusing to comply with a traffic stop in 2021 and two in 2020. A Reuters tally of fatal shootings in 2021 and 2022 shows the majority of victims were Black or of Arabic origin.

“As a mother from Nanterre, I have a feeling of insecurity for our children,” said Mornia Labssi, a local resident and anti-racism campaigner, who said she had spoken to the victim’s family, which she said was of Algerian origin.

One passenger was taken into police custody but later released while police were unable to contact another passenger, the prospector’s office said. The driver was “known to the judicial services for having refused to comply with a traffic stop” on a previous occasion, it said.

Paris police chief Laurent Nunez told BFM TV that “this act raises questions for me” and that the justice system would decide whether or not it was appropriate.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in a Twitter post that the General Inspectorate of the National Police was investigating “to shed light on the circumstances of this drama.” 

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