Skip to comments.French Police Turn On Chirac As Officer Jailed
Posted on 11/12/2005 4:40:41 PM PST by blam
French police turn on Chirac as officer jailed
By Kim Willsher in Paris and Henry Samuel in Bobigny
After 16 nights battling urban violence by rioters, Jacques Chirac's government is confronting angry new protests - from the police themselves.
Firefighters extinguish a burning car in Strasbourg
Officers at the forefront of attempts to control the wave of riots and arson attacks across France are furious at moves to prosecute policemen accused of assaulting a youth.
As officers were deployed in force in Paris yesterday following a call on weblogs for a mass demonstration, the police union described the jailing of one officer and the suspension of others as "incomprehensible and unacceptable".
Police officers, who have been targeted with stones, missiles and Molotov cocktails since the trouble broke out, said they were "stupefied" by the action taken against their colleagues. Alliance, the main police union, appealed to members for calm after the decision to take the first steps towards charging five police officers implicated in the assault on a youth.
State television showed images of two officers hitting and kicking a young man while six colleagues stood by watching in the northern Paris suburb of La Courneuve on Monday. One officer is being held in detention while four others are also under formal investigation.
The French interior ministry said the victim had suffered cuts to his face and right foot, but had been declared fit for work.
The case has brought to the surface growing police resentment at the failure by politicians to resolve the crisis, the most serious and protracted outbreak of violence in France since 1968.
Jean-Pierre Raymaud, the leader of another police union, told Le Figaro newspaper: "For 15 days we've been targeted constantly and under a lot of pressure. This isn't an excuse but it has to be taken into account. The police have done their work and I don't think finding one or two scapegoats just to demonstrate firmness is fair."
Yesterday afternoon police were out in force but maintaining a discreet profile on the Champs-Elyseés, Paris's most celebrated avenue, after bloggers from the banlieues called for a demonstration yesterday evening. Squad cars and coaches full of riot police were parked in side streets and at either end of the avenue.
The police said that 502 cars had been burned on Friday night, more than on either of the two previous nights, and 206 people were taken into custody.
Mr Chirac's ministers are relying on a combination of police power, curfew orders and a court crackdown to quell the rioting. So far, 593 adults among the 2,440 people arrested have been rushed through "fast track" hearings and 464 have been sent to jail for up to a year. A further 102 juveniles have received custodial sentences.
Pascal Clement, the justice minister, said last week: "I have instructed prosecutors to recommend the strictest sentences for those who have deliberately crossed the laws of the Republic."
The number of cases being pushed through three special courts at Bobigny, northeast of Paris, has led to complaints that justice is being rushed. Mourad Sehan, a legal aid defence lawyer, said: "One man whom I defended and was given a five-month sentence had an alibi that nobody bothered to verify."
Two defendants who appeared before the judge in Chamber 17 of Bobigny criminal court were typical. As their handcuffs were removed, Youssouf Souare, 20, and Bandiougou Diawara, 18, gazed nervously around the crowded courthouse as they were charged with "fabricating and possessing an explosive device". In other words: making a petrol bomb. On the wooden benches, their bewildered families were outnumbered by journalists.
The police claimed that officers had discovered a bottle of petrol and three rags in the boot of their car, and traces of petrol on their hands.
Souare insisted there was just half an inch of cleaning petrol in a plastic bottle, and three old rags - which he said he had because he was employed to remove graffiti on the local council estate. The prosecutor looked embarrassed and declined to recommend a sentence. The two men were acquitted, to cheers from their supporters.
François Molins, the prosecutor general at Bobigny, said: "Trials are rapid but not rushed. We are used to dealing with urban violence and we have kept our serenity."
I hope they do. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't and their damned President doesn't give a merde.
...victim had suffered cuts to his face and right foot, but had been declared fit for work.
Wow! Some beating!
I am amazed that no French citizens have started assaulting these thugs. Oh, yeah, I forgot, this is France we're talking about.
There is no way this dirt bag is hanging on to his political power now
Have to agree with Jean-Pierre. The gendarmes can take just so much before they begin reacting.
He's stepped in it now
He must support his police of the system will crash
"Oom...Ooom...Ooom (ribbit) Ooom..."
[...victim had suffered cuts to his face and right foot, but had been declared fit for work.]
I think they are talking about the cop. Maybe the one who was charged for hitting back. That is not allowed in LaLaLaLa MMMOOOOOOOMMMMMHYHHH land.
Okay Chirac, I don't hate to say it...
TOLD YOU SO!
Strike, is like surrender?
Was expecting ute names like Running Dog etc.
Keep in mind: there are just as many muslims as Frenchmen of fighting age, under 30.
France is doomed, it will not be saved by street fighting French pensioners.
Wwwaaaahhhhaaahhh (sponge bob laugh)
I think they are talking about the cop.
The cop is called the 'victim'??
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