Witness calls Paris police officers into question over fatal shooting

A Paris police patrol, who last weekend opened fire on the occupants of car whose driver had refused the officers' oders to pull over, and who fatally wounded a woman passenger, 'could have acted differently' according a friend of the victim who was also present in the vehicle.

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A young woman who saw her friend fatally shot by police in Paris at the weekend has said there was no need for them to open fire, reports BBC News.

Inès, 21, and her friend Rayana were passengers in a car when the driver ignored a police order to stop.

Rayana's death has prompted a political row over violence by security forces.

The friends had accepted a ride home after meeting the driver in a nightclub. She said: "I'm angry because police could have acted differently."

And with days to go before French voters go to the polls in parliamentary elections, left-wing alliance leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon promised to change the doctrine on how French police use force.

"It's not normal that we kill someone for failing to stop," he told French radio earlier, saying it was the fourth such death in four months. In an initial tweet he wrote: "The police kill."

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said his remarks were outrageous and it was "irresponsible and unworthy" to insult police for electoral reasons.

On Saturday, the driver of the car was eventually arrested with gunshot wounds after fleeing the car in the 18th district of northern Paris, and Rayana's family are taking legal action against him for alleged manslaughter.

Their lawyer Sylvie Noachovitch said the driver was primarily responsible for her death.

He had offered to give Rayana and two other passengers a lift, she explained, then twice refused to comply with police. "[Rayana] never approved of all his escape attempts - every time she screamed inside the car just like the other passengers to let them get out, and he didn't reply."

However, the lawyer said the family were also taking legal action against police for violence resulting in death as well as manslaughter in a situation when their lives were not at risk.

Read more of this report from BBC News.

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