Police 'blunders' under spotlight again after Chinese man shot in Paris home


Two investigations have been opened after a 56-year-old Chinese national was shot dead by a police officer after an altercation at his home in Paris. The death of father-of-five Shaoyo Liu in the 19th arrondissement sparked protests in the French capital and an diplomatic intervention from Beijing as family members disputed the official version of events that led to the shooting. As Michaël Hajdenberg reports, the case also highlights how rare it is for police officers who kill citizens to be held in custody even when there are suspicions that they committed a grave mistake.

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It is a question that arises – or should do – each time there are claims of a fresh police blunder. It is now at least seven years since a French police officer was held in custody pending trial after having used their weapon in the line of duty. There is no reason to believe that circumstances will be any different after the death of a Chinese national shot by an officer at his Paris home on Sunday 26 March.

Shaoyo Liu, 56, a father-of-five, was killed at his home in the 19th arrondissement of the city after police officers were called about an alleged disturbance at the property. The Paris prosecution authorities have now opened two separate judicial investigations. One will examine the details of the incident itself. The second has been handed to the police watchdog body the Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale (IGPN) to see if the police officers involved used legitimate force.