France: sixteen-year-old dies in crash into police car. Two months ago the “Nahel case”


By John

A 16-year-old boy died last night in a collision between his motorbike and a police vehicle in Elancourt (Yvelines), just over two months after Nahel’s death at a checkpoint which triggered several nights of riots. According to a police source, the victim had refused to pull over earlier in the evening, when his two-wheeler was “followed at a distance” by a police car in this suburban town about thirty kilometers southwest Paris. At an intersection, the two-wheeler apparently collided with “another police vehicle”. The accident occurred around 6.40pm.

The Versailles prosecutor’s office has opened two investigations: one for “resisting arrest”, entrusted to the Yvelines territorial police, and the other for “manslaughter of the driver”, entrusted to the National Police Inspectorate (IGPN). Two police officers were taken into custody as part of this second investigation and were questioned by the IGPN in the evening.

The 16-year-old, who suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest, was initially resuscitated by emergency services and then taken to hospital but died from his injuries, the prosecutor’s office said. A mobile unit of gendarmes has been sent to Elancourt to prevent possible unrest in this city of 25,000 inhabitants.

This teenager’s death comes just over two months after that of Nahel M., 17 years old, killed in Nanterre by a police officer during a traffic stop on 27 June. The images of the motorcyclist shooting the boy at point-blank range, widely circulated on social networks, have unleashed a wave of anger in France, where the deaths of young immigrants during police operations have often sparked urban riots.
After Nahel’s death, riots broke out in the Paris region and the rest of the country. The unprecedented intensity of urban violence was characterized by clashes between rioters and police, looting, mortar shelling against public buildings and fires.
As of 31 August, 32 investigations were ongoing by the IGPN into the violence during the riots following Nahel’s death, and one by the IGGN, the equivalent of the gendarmerie. According to the latest official data, almost 4,000 people have been arrested by the police and around 2,000 have been convicted in connection with urban violence.