Rioting broke out in a Paris suburb tonight as a policeman stands accused of executing a teenage driver in cold blood after telling him: ‘I’m going to lodge a bullet in your head’.
The 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, a 17-year-old delivery driver, while the officer was arrested and placed in custody.
As youths began to pour on to the streets this evening, 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’.
Firefighters work to put out a burning car on the sidelines of a demonstration in Nanterre, west of Paris
Disorder broke out this evening after French police killed a teenager who refused to stop for a traffic check in the city
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
Youths started fires throughout Nanterre this evening in protest at the alleged shooting of 17-year-old Nael
Firefighters attempt the extinguish a blaze in Nanterre, on the western outskirts of Paris, this evening
Police in riot gear stand guard during this evening’s riot in Nanterre, Paris, which saw nine people arrested
Firefighters work to put out burning street furniture after youths took to the street in anger over the killing of 17-year-old Nael
As the violence intensified tonight, police reported nine arrests in Nanterre by 10pm.
‘There are mobs setting fire to cars and shooting firework rockets at officers,’ said a Paris police spokesman. ‘Nine people are in custody, mainly for public order offences’
Local residents held a protest outside the police headquarters. Some groups set alight barricades and garbage bins, smashed up a bus stop and threw firecrackers toward police, who responded with tear gas and dispersion grenades, according to videos broadcast on local media.
Prosecutors meanwhile confirmed that the unnamed officer responsible for the shooting was being investigated for ‘murder’.
The victim, identified as Nael M., was confirmed dead soon after 9am, after being shot at around 8.30am this morning.
The 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
The crashed vehicle hit a post-sign and some railings at a junction shortly after a shot was allegedly fired at the driver, Nael, 17
Paramedics tried in vain to save the 17-year-old driver, later identified as Nael, 17,
Dashcam footage from another motorist showed Nael’s vehicle after it crashed
Firefighters work to put out the remnants of an arson attack in Nanterre, on the western outskirts of Paris
The shooting has prompted expressions of shock and questions over the readiness of security forces to pull the trigger (Pictured: firefighters this evening in Nanterre)
One car was set alight as dozens of youths took to the streets of Nanterre and rallied against police
He was driving a hired yellow Mercedes AMG, which officers claimed had been driving erratically.
‘At first police said the teenager had tried to run them over, but they changed their tune when the video appeared,’ said an investigating source.
The video shows the car is originally stationary, with the sunroof open, before edging forward when an officer, who is wearing a crash helmet, threatens the driver with death.
The shooting happened close to the Nanterre-Préfecture RER train station, near Nelson-Mandela Square, behind La Défense business district.
When the driver restarts, the policeman shoots him at point-blank range from the side of the vehicle, hitting him in the chest.
Nanterre mayor Patrick Jarry said he was ‘shocked’ by the video images and passed his ‘sincere condolences to the boy’s mother’.
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 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.