A police officer has shot and killed a 23-year-old man in a police check in Neuville-en-Ferrain, a French municipality around 10 kilometres from Kortrijk, at around 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
The police officer has been arrested as part of the probe into the fatal accident.
A team of officers had wanted to check on the occupants of a vehicle with a fake number plate when the driver suddenly drove away, Lille prosecutor Carole Etienne said. An officer managed to open the door of the car on the driver’s side to get the man out. He fired a shot that hit the man in his side.
Despite the intervention of the emergency services, the driver died on the spot. The man was known to police for drug offences and was sentenced in June to six months in prison for failing to perform community service.
The other occupant was arrested for stealing the car and disobeying the police.
In France, there is now criticism of the approach to people who do not follow police orders. In mid-August, two more people were killed near Lyon after officers checked a vehicle reported stolen.
Police figures show that last year there were 157 cases in France of shots being fired at moving vehicles after drivers disobeyed police.