French police shoot dead teenager fleeing car inspection

French police are questioning an officer Monday after the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man who fled while trying to check a car for speeding, prosecutors said.

It was the latest case of alleged police brutality against suspects that has in recent years sparked protests by critics who cite heavy-handed tactics, particularly against minorities.

The young man was among three people in the car when police tried to stop them near Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in western France, state prosecutor Pierre-Yves Marot said in a statement.

The driver refused to stop and drove off before being forced to stop by a second police car.

All three occupants of the vehicle tried to escape.

One of the individuals fled and another was arrested and charged on suspicion of robbery, as the vehicle was reported stolen.

"The third person, a 19-year-old youth from Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, confronted the officers of the second patrol and hit one of them while trying to escape," the prosecutor's office said.

"The officer then used a stun gun" while his colleague drew and "used his service weapon, fatally striking him in the chest."

The officer who fired the shot was still being held for questioning on Monday evening by the IGPN Police Internal Affairs Division.

In June and July last year, France was rocked by violent riots over the killing of a teenager outside Paris by a police officer during a traffic stop. | BGNES