Mother of French shooting victim says officer 'saw an Arab face'

30 Jun 2023 08:56am
Police officers search a man during protests in Brussels, on June 29, 2023, two days after a teenager was shot dead in a French police traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. - Photo by AFP
Police officers search a man during protests in Brussels, on June 29, 2023, two days after a teenager was shot dead in a French police traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. - Photo by AFP
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NANTERRE - The mother of a French teenager whose killing by a police officer has sparked riots said Thursday she thought the death was racially motivated but she did not bear a grudge against the force as a whole.

"I don't blame the police, I blame one person: the one who took the life of my son," Mounia told the France 5 channel in her first media interview since the shooting on Tuesday morning.

"I have friends who are officers. They are completely behind me... they don't agree with what happened," she said.

She said the 38-year-old officer, who has since been charged with voluntary homicide, had other ways of controlling her son, who was at the wheel of a powerful Mercedes without a licence.

"He didn't need to kill my son. A bullet? So close to his chest? No, no," the single mother, described as a worker in the medical sector, told the channel in tears.

The officer "saw an Arab face, a little kid, and wanted to take his life," she said.

"How long is this going to go on for? How many other children are going to go like this? How many mothers will find themselves like me?" she added.

Mounia led a march through the suburb of Nanterre, west of Paris, where she lived with her son on Thursday which ended with protesters clashing with police. - AFP

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