France has been rocked by violent protests after a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop near Paris on Tuesday. The incident, captured on video, has sparked outrage and condemnation from the public, politicians and celebrities.
According to the Nanterre prosecutor’s office, the police officer who fired the fatal shot is in custody on suspicion of manslaughter and could face preliminary charges as soon as Thursday. The officer reportedly shot the teenager, identified only as Nael, at point-blank range as he tried to drive away from the traffic check in Nanterre, a suburb west of Paris.
The shooting triggered unrest in multiple towns around Paris, where protesters set cars and buildings on fire, threw stones and fireworks at police, and clashed with riot police in a haze of tear gas. The violence also spread to some other French cities, such as Toulouse, Lille and Lyon. The authorities said they arrested more than 150 people overnight and deployed 2,000 police officers to maintain order.
The incident has raised questions about the use of force by the police and the need for reform. The victim’s family has filed a complaint against the police for lying about the circumstances of the shooting, claiming that the officers were not in danger and that Nael was killed in cold blood. Their lawyers have also demanded that the investigation be transferred to another region to ensure impartiality.