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French police officer charged over fatal shooting

AFP
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French police officer charged over fatal shooting
A French police officer by a police van (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

French authorities charged a police officer with voluntary manslaughter after the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man as he fled a police traffic check.

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It was the latest case of alleged police violence against suspects that has sparked protests in recent years by critics citing heavy-handed tactics, particularly against minorities.

After the police officer was taken into custody on Sunday, she was ‘presented to an examining magistrate’ and ‘charged with voluntary manslaughter’, said state prosecutor Gauthier Poupeau.

“The police officer has been placed under strict judicial supervision,” prohibiting her from travelling and from working as an officer, he added.

Last year, France was shaken by rioting over the killing outside Paris of a teenager by a policeman during a traffic check.

READ ALSO Thousands march against police violence in France

On Sunday, the young man killed was among three people in the car when police tried to stop them for speeding near Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, said another state prosecutor, Pierre-Yves Marot.

The driver ‘did not obey the warnings’, refused to stop and sped away before being forced to halt by a second police car.

All three occupants of the vehicle attempted to flee.

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One person escaped while another was detained and charged on suspicion of robbery because the vehicle had been reported as stolen.

“The third person, a 19-year-old from Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, was confronted by officers from the second patrol and knocked into one of them while trying to flee,” the prosecutor's office said.

“The officer then used a stun gun” while a colleague drew and “used her service weapon, fatally striking him in the chest”.

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