France braces for protests as Macron slams ‘unforgivable’ police shooting of teen driver 0

France braced for more angry protests Wednesday after the killing of a teenager by police during a traffic stop that President Emmanuel Macron called “unforgivable”.

The government said it would deploy 2,000 riot police to deal with any unrest, a day after a 17-year-old was shot in the chest by a police officer who then appeared to lie about the circumstances of the killing.

The shooting had already sparked unrest in several Paris suburbs overnight.

Celebrities and politicians expressed outrage and grief at the death of the teenager, with Macron calling it “inexplicable” and “unforgivable”.

The teenager, named only as Nael M., was pulled over by two policemen on Tuesday for breaking traffic rules, prosecutors said.

Police initially reported that one officer shot at the teenager because he was driving his car at him, but this version of events was contradicted by a video circulating on social media and authenticated by AFP.

The footage shows the two policemen actually standing by the side of the stationary car, with one pointing a weapon at the driver. A voice is heard saying “You are going to get a bullet in the head.”

The police officer then appears to fire point blank as the car abruptly drives off.

The car moved a few dozen metres before crashing. The driver died shortly after.

His death sparked immediate protests in Nanterre, a western Paris suburb.

Bins were set alight and a fire broke out at a music school, while police tried to disperse the protesters with tear gas.

Protests then broke out in some neighbouring suburbs.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said Wednesday that 31 people had been arrested overnight, 24 police slightly injured and around 40 cars torched.

Darmanin added that 2,000 police would be deployed to deal with any further violence later Wednesday.

‘Revolt for my son’

Government spokesman Olivier Veran told reporters that Macron had expressed “emotion” at the shooting during Wednesday’s weekly cabinet meeting, and called for “calm” on behalf of the government.

Source: AFP