Advertisement

Hundreds march in Paris suburb after youth killed in police chase

The death of Wanys R. has sparked tensions in the town of La Courneuve near major venues for this summer's Paris Olympics (Bertrand GUAY)
The death of Wanys R. has sparked tensions in the town of La Courneuve near major venues for this summer's Paris Olympics (Bertrand GUAY)

Several hundred marched peacefully in a Paris suburb Thursday to demand justice for a teenager killed last week in a collision with a police car.

The death of Wanys R. has sparked tensions in the town of La Courneuve near major venues for this summer's Paris Olympics.

Police on March 13 chased a moped that the 18-year-old was driving in the nearby town of Aubervilliers after it said he refused to comply with a traffic stop.

A video widely shared online showed a police car striking his scooter, killing him and injuring his passenger.

Police and the investigation so far say it was an accident, but his family have accused them of "voluntarily" hitting the scooter.

His older brother, who did not wish to give his name, spoke to the press on the steps of the La Courneuve townhall.

"My little brother was killed by the police. They decided to take his life unfairly," he said, his face covered with a black face mask and sunglasses.

"We are only seeking justice. No violence, no excess," he said, before the march set off.

Seventeen-year-old Taif went to the same school as Wanys R.

"The police have made it normal to kill people like him, young people," she said, not wishing to give her full name.

On Sunday evening, people fired a barrage of fireworks at the La Courneuve police station, according to footage posted on social media. Police said the attackers also threw stones and Molotov cocktails.

Police responded with sting-ball grenades, teargas and flash-ball projectiles, it said. The police station suffered no damaged.

La Courneuve is located in Paris's northern suburbs, in the Seine-Saint-Denis department that hosts Olympic venues including the flagship Stade de France stadium.

In June, a video of a police officer shooting dead 17-year-old Nahel M. triggered nights of riots in the Paris suburbs and other deprived areas.

The policeman who fired the fatal shot has been charged with voluntary homicide.

amd-amb/ah/giv