‘Insulted’ French Police Protest Proposed Government Reforms Aimed at Combating Racism

Police officers marching in Paris on Friday against the government’s proposals to ban the chokehold and discipline racist officers.
Credit…Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Police officers in France have carried out protests and thrown handcuffs on the ground, saying that they are “insulted” by claims that the police in France tolerates and perpetuates racism and abuse.

Police officers protested on Thursday in cities across the country, after several anti-racism protests took place last week against police brutality and racism on French soil.

The anti-racism protests led Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to ban the police “chokehold” on Monday, noting that several officers had “failed their Republican duty” and that the state intends to “track it down and combat it.”

The announcement led to protests by police officers, who believe “head restraint is very important during handcuffing” and that French police authorities should not be compared to those in the United States.

“We are angry at the announcements that are made, where we suspect the police of everything and nothing, whereas in our country the police really reflect the image of its population,” Xavier Leveau of the police union told AFP news agency. “People think that the police are racist, whereas in our country we have people of all ethnic groups, and we all work well together.”

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SOURCE: TIME, Melissa Godin