Teen brain-dead after traffic collision with French police
VERSAILLES, France - A 16-year-old boy was declared brain-dead on Thursday following a collision between his scooter and a police vehicle west of Paris, prosecutors said, just over two months after a teen’s fatal shooting by police sparked a week of riots.
Police had initially said the teen had died after the collision late on Wednesday but prosecutors in a later statement said had been left brain dead.
He was suspected of failing to comply with officers, a police source said, adding that he was being “followed at a distance” by a police car through Elancourt, a town around 30 kilometres outside Paris.
He collided with “another police vehicle” at an intersection, the source added, with a second police source telling AFP the crash happened at around 6.40pm.
The teenager was initially revived from respiratory and cardiac arrest by first responders and brought to hospital where it was thought at first that he had died.
Prosecutors in Versailles have opened probes both into the teen’s alleged refusal to comply and another into involuntary homicide at the wheel.
Two officers were taken into custody and questioned by internal affairs colleagues over the second investigation, but released on Thursday, the prosecutors said.
Extra police were deployed to Elancourt, a town of 25,000 people, to forestall any potential unrest, a police source said.
The death comes a little over two months after 17-year-old Nahel M was shot dead by a police officer at a traffic control in Paris suburb Nanterre.
A video of the point-blank shooting spread online, sparking outrage and rioting across France in an echo of past episodes of unrest triggered by deaths of young men with migrant backgrounds in encounters with police.
The riots saw clashes with security forces, widespread looting of shops and businesses and fires set at public buildings including schools and town halls.
By the end of August, almost 4,000 people had been arrested and 2,000 sentenced, according to government figures, while police internal affairs officers were investigating 33 cases of suspected police violence.
Insurance industry association France Assureurs on Wednesday estimated the total damage from the riots at €730 million (S$1 billion) – 90 per cent from damage to businesses and municipal buildings. - AFP