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France Riots Nantes Police Violence

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French cop charged with manslaughter as Nantes riots continue

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Thursday's march in protest at Aboubakar Fofana's death in Nantes REUTERS/Udi Kivity

A French police officer has been charged with manslaughter after admitting he shot a 22-year-old man by accident while trying to prevent him fleeing an identity check. There was rioting for the fourth night running in the city of Nantes, where the shooting happened on Tuesday.


The police officer was charged on Friday evening after being taken in for questioning and changing his story.

Although he had earlier claimed to have fired in self-defence, he told investigators it went off by accident while he was trying to grab control of the steering wheel of Aboubakar Fofana's car.

Fofana, who was wanted for questioing in a drug-related investigation, died after being taken to hospital.

His family has filed a civil complaint, according to their lawyer Loïc Bourgeois, who complained they had no access to any of the evidence and were learning about developments through the media.

There was less violence on Friday night than on the previous three, according to police, but 35 vehicles were nevertheless set on fire.

Three men, aged between 20 and 31 years old, were given four-month suspended prison sentences on Friday for violent acts committed on Wednesday, the day after Fofana's death.

The sale of petrol in cans and fireworks has been suspended in the area until 13 July, the day before the Bastille Day national holiday, during which youths often set off firecrackers and firework displays take place in many towns.

In a separate case, a second suspect was charged on Friday night in relation with Wednesday's attack on a married couple who are police officers in the Paris region.

He was the 24-year-old brother of the first suspect detained, who is 27 years old.

The couple were attacked in front of their three-year-old daughter, the woman hit in the face, the man knocked to the ground and kicked when he came to her defence, according to sources.