Paris: Angry clashes erupt after delivery driver, 17, shot dead in police standoff

This video contains distressing images

Europe Editor James Mates reports from the Paris suburb where Nael M was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic check

A 17-year-old delivery driver was shot dead by a police officer in Paris, unleashing angry clashes between residents and officers.

The teenager, identified by lawyers as Nael M, was killed by a gunshot and died at the scene, in the city's north west suburb Nanterre.

A police officer was detained on suspicion of manslaughter, according to the prosecutor’s office in Nanterre.

It said the shooting happened during a traffic check.

On Wednesday night there was a large police presence on the streets as tensions remained high.

Footage posted on social media shows police shooting at a car as it begins to speed off - the car is then filmed after it has crashed

This video contains distressing images

The killing prompted nationwide concern and widespread messages of indignation and condolences, including from soccer star Kylian Mbappe. French President Emmanuel Macron called the young man’s death “inexplicable and inexcusable”.

Anger erupted among residents of Nanterre following the death.

Some groups set barricades and bins on fire, smashed up a bus stop and threw firecrackers toward police.

Officers responded with tear gas and dispersion grenades, which emit pepper spray, according to videos on French media.

Local residents also held a protest outside the police headquarters.

It was reported the police took action against the teen as they claimed their lives were in danger because the driver had threatened to run them over.

Prosecuting lawyers rejected this statement.

They also referenced a video reported to be of the incident which is circulating online.

Video taken by witness Aime-Celeste Karege shows a car on fire as riot police run past

The footage shows two police officers leaning into the driver-side window of a yellow car before the vehicle pulls away.

One officer then fires toward the driver. The car is later seen crashed into a post nearby.

Macron called for calm and for respect for Nael’s loved ones. Asked about police abuses, he said justice should be allowed to run its course.

“Nothing justifies the death of a young person,” he told reporters in Marseille.

Mbappe, who grew up in the Paris suburb of Bondy, was among those who were shocked by what happened.

“I hurt for my France. Unacceptable situation. All my thoughts go to the family and loved ones of Nael, this little angel gone much too soon,” he tweeted.

Fatal gun violence is less common in France than in the United States, however several people have died or been injured at the hands of French police in recent years.

France also saw protests against racial profiling and other injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police in Minnesota.

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