……authorities may have provided false information about the incident.
By Akpele Mitin:
Paris suburbs were engulfed in violent protests overnight, triggering outrage among celebrities on Wednesday. The unrest followed the fatal shooting of a teenager by the police during a traffic stop, and subsequent revelations that the authorities may have provided false information about the incident.
According to prosecutors, the 17-year-old, identified as Nael M., was pulled over by two policemen on Tuesday for violating traffic regulations. Initially, the police claimed that one of the officers fired at the teenager because he was driving his vehicle towards them. However, a video circulating on social media, which was authenticated by AFP, contradicted this version of events.
The video footage depicted the two policemen positioned beside the stationary car, with one officer pointing a weapon at the driver. A voice can be heard saying, “You are going to get a bullet in the head.” The police officer then appears to shoot at point-blank range as the car abruptly accelerates and drives away.
The car traveled a short distance before crashing, resulting in the driver’s death soon after the incident. Following the teenager’s demise, protests erupted immediately in Nanterre, a suburb located in western Paris. Demonstrators set bins on fire, and a fire broke out at a music school, while police employed tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Subsequently, protests spread to neighboring suburbs. The Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, stated on Wednesday that 31 individuals were arrested during the night, with 24 police officers sustaining minor injuries, and approximately 40 cars being set ablaze.
The 38-year-old policeman responsible for firing the fatal shot was taken into custody and is currently being investigated for voluntary manslaughter. Nael M.’s lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, announced plans to file a legal complaint against the officer for voluntary manslaughter and against his colleague for complicity in the shooting.
Moreover, the lawyer expressed intentions to file an additional complaint against the policemen for making false statements regarding Nael M.’s alleged attempt to run them over. In the car, there were two passengers, one of whom fled the scene, while the other, also a teenager, was briefly detained.
Celebrities and some politicians voiced disgust, concern and outrage at the shooting.
“I am hurting for my France,” tweeted Kylian Mbappe, captain of the French men’s national football team and star player at the Paris Saint-Germain club.
“An unacceptable situation. All my thoughts go to the friends and family of Nael, that little angel who left us far too soon,” Mbappe said.
Actor Omar Sy, famous for his role in the film “The Intouchables” and the “Lupin” TV show, said on Twitter: “I hope that justice worthy of the name will honour the memory of this child.”