Homicide investigation after French police kill driver

PARIS – A homicide investigation has been opened into the shooting death of a driver by a police officer in the French city of Nice after he failed to obey an order to stop, the city prosecutor said on Friday. southern city.

Video circulating on social media shows a police officer pointing his gun at the driver’s window as the vehicle backs up past a damaged police cruiser. The officer fires just after the driver appears to stop the car.

The shooting is the latest in a string of similar incidents across France in recent months that have raised questions about police use of lethal force.

Nice prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme said in a statement that the 23-year-old police officer – currently in police custody after Wednesday’s incident – said he shot the driver because of the “immediate threat” he weighed on him and his colleague.

Police and court officials said the 24-year-old driver refused to obey a stop order after officers noticed he was driving dangerously. At some point, the car turned around and slammed into the police cruiser.

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Bonhomme said the man was driving a stolen car and had previously been convicted of several counts, including driving without a license and theft.

In another incident on Wednesday in the western city of Rennes, a 22-year-old woman was killed after police opened fire on a car in which she was a passenger during an anti-drug operation. The driver of the car was injured.

Earlier this year, a French police officer was charged with manslaughter after killing two men in a car as they sought to evade a police check on the Pont-Neuf in central Paris on the evening of the re-election of French President Emmanuel Macron.

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