As Unrest Continues in France Over Teen's Death, Cop Charged

Teen's mom says she has nothing against police in general, but officer didn't need to shoot
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2023 12:59 AM CDT
French Cop Charged in Fatal Shooting of Teen
Police clear a street on the third night of protests sparked by the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old driver in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, France, Friday, June 30, 2023.   (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)

As protests continued for a third night in France over the police killing of a 17-year-old delivery driver, the officer involved faces a homicide charge, the BBC reports. The officer was detained after the Tuesday shooting, and on Thursday he was placed under formal investigation for voluntary homicide, which the Guardian explains is essentially the equivalent of being charged. His lawyer says the 38-year-old was aiming toward the teen's leg but got bumped, which caused him to shoot the teen, whose name was Nahel, higher up, toward his chest. He says the officer "obviously didn't want to kill the driver."

The lawyer says the officer apologized to the boy's family, Sky News reports. "The first words he pronounced were to say sorry and the last words he said were to say sorry to the family," the lawyer says. "He is devastated, he doesn't get up in the morning to kill people." Meanwhile, the unrest continued, including clashes between demonstrators and police. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, buildings and cars have been set on fire, windows have been smashed and stores looted, curfews are in place, and in Nantes, a car was driven through the metal barriers of a store. Nahel's mother, who says she has nothing against police in general but that this particular officer didn't need to shoot her son, led a march Thursday afternoon that, per the BBC, was "marred by clashes." (More France stories.)

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