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Man shot by police in Paris after ‘threatening officers’

A man has died after being shot four times by police in central Paris on Sunday evening.

Man shot by police in Paris after 'threatening officers'
Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

Officers opened fire in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, close to Place de la République, on Sunday evening.

Two investigations have been opened – one by Paris police into the conduct of the victim and one by police watchdog the IGPN into the actions of the officers – and the two officers were detained for questioning.

Police sources told AFP that that man had been acting in a threatening way towards the officers. 

A police source said the man “doesn’t appear to have addressed any particular words to the police but was indeed threatening”.

French media reported that the man had a handgun and had first threatened a dog with the gun. No information has been released about the victim. 

The officers were released Monday afternoon without any charges being brought “at this point”, a source in the prosecutor’s office said, adding that the man’s gun was probably a fake.

Several people who witnessed the scene are also to be questioned by investigators.

Calls have been growing in France for checks on police use of deadly force, after 13 people who allegedly refused to obey officers’ orders were killed last year.

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PARIS

‘Drunks, drug-dealers and pickpockets’ – French police crackdown at Paris Gare du Nord

Police in the capital are planning a massive operation to clean up Paris' chaotic and grotty Gare du Nord station - described by the local police commander as "full of drunks, crack dealers and pickpockets".

'Drunks, drug-dealers and pickpockets' - French police crackdown at Paris Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord serves not only as one of the major rail hubs for the capital, but also the arrival point for the Eurostar and shuttles from Paris’ two main airports – meaning that it is often the first part of the city that tourists see.

And it doesn’t give a good impression – the station is dark, confusingly laid out and its infrastructure is crumbling, so it’s far from uncommon to see buckets placed to catch water from the leaking rook.

But it’s the security aspect that worries the police – as the station has also become a hotspot for pickpockets, unlicensed taxi drivers, illegal street vendors and drug dealers, as well as a hangout for homeless people, many of whom have mental health problems.

Although the biggest security problem is undoubtedly pickpocketing – especially of confused, newly arrived tourists – there are occasionally more serious incidents, such as the attack on January 11th when a man randomly assaulted seven members of the public with a sharpened chisel.

A year previously, another knife-wielding man, later revealed to be homeless and with mental health problems who frequented the station, was shot by police.

Police presence in the station has now been massively stepped up, with dozens of officers patrolling at all hours of the day and night, in addition to the soldiers from Operation Sentinelle who make regular patrols of Gare du Nord (and other sites that have the potential to be terror attack targets).

The commander of the unit based at Gare du Nord told Le Parisien: “Unlicensed cigarette sellers, crack cocaine dealers, pickpocketing, drunk people – these are all problems that characterise Gare du Nord.

However, she added that things have improved in recent years, saying: “There is no longer a war between rival gangs, who used to come here regularly to fight in front of the [now-defunct] Foot Locker store. Many new stores have moved in. The light is soothing. It’s not an anxiety-provoking place at all.”

The station – through which 700,000 people pass every day – has long been a sore point for city authorities, who are well aware of the poor impression it gives to new arrivals.

However in 2021, an ambitious plan to completely redevelop it and add a huge new shopping mall was rejected. Instead, it was decided to simply give the existing station a revamp in time for the 2024 Olympics. 

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