The drone was on its way back from a military mission when a pilot called the police.
It was a moment of tragedy when the drone lost control and crashed in the road in the city of Cotonou, north of Paris.
The pilot was the only one of three people on board when the aircraft crashed.
He was rushed to hospital and was in a critical condition, but later released.
The drone, equipped with a camera, a camera lens and GPS, was launched from a drone base on a remote French mountain range in the early hours of this week.
It is the second time this year a drone has been used for police work, and the first time a police drone has crashed.
It comes as the French government is under pressure to set up an unmanned drone police fleet in the wake of a series of high-profile crashes involving drones.
The French Air Force recently announced it was to begin tests of drones to aid in search and rescue missions.
It has set up the Cotonous Base Drone Project in an effort to develop an unmanned aircraft system for its own police force.
The base is located on the northern outskirts of Paris, about 80km (50 miles) south of the capital.
It consists of a remote air base, two training sites and a laboratory for the drones.
It currently has about 1,500 personnel and is expected to be ready to operate by next year.
France has already invested about £20 million into the project, and plans to spend more in the next six months.
But critics say the project is too expensive, and that it will take years to develop the technology to make it viable for use by the police, a move that could leave the country at a disadvantage in the fight against terrorism.
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