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Unrest in Paris after 17-year-old boy shot dead by police

A vehicle burns, destroyed by protesters in Nanterre, west of Paris, on June 27, 2023.
A vehicle burns, destroyed by protesters in Nanterre, west of Paris, on June 27, 2023. Copyright ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP or licensors
Copyright ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AFP
Published on Updated
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The officer accused of shooting the teen has been detained on homicide charges.

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Unrest erupted overnight in Paris after a 17-year-old was shot dead by traffic police. 

The teenager, named Naël M, had allegedly failed to stop when ordered to by officers. 

The tragedy, which has reignited controversy over police conduct, happened Tuesday morning near the Nanterre-Préfecture RER station, in the suburbs of the French capital.

Officers initially claimed his vehicle had rammed into two police motorcyclists.

But a video circulating on social media, authenticated by AFP, shows one officer holding the driver up at gunpoint, then firing at point-blank range. 

"You're going to get shot in the head" can be heard in the clip, though this sentence cannot be attributed to a particular person. 

The car shoots forward a few meters, then crashes into a post. 

Naël M died of bullet wounds to the chest, despite help from emergency services. 

The 38-year-old officer accused of shooting him has been taken into custody on homicide charges. 

The teenager's death and its circumstances sparked protests in Nanterre, a popular area west of the French capital where he lived. 

Unrest was also recorded in several neighbourhoods by the authorities. 

Cars, bus stops and bins were set alight, according to AFP. The police tried to disperse small groups of rioters with tear gas.

Twenty people were arrested, according to Paris authorities.

Two separate investigations have been opened following the 17-year-old's death. One focuses on intentional homicide by a public official. The other will look at the driver's failure to stop his vehicle and alleged attempt to kill a police officer. 

Nanterre Mayor Patrick Jarry said he was "shocked" by the video of the incident, which drew wide condemnation. 

"The death penalty no longer exists in France. No policeman has the right to kill except in self-defence", wrote left-wing politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, suggesting the police should be "entirely refounded ".

At the National Assembly, Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin said the images were "extremely shocking". 

In 2022, 13 deaths were recorded after refusals to comply during roadside checks, a record.

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