French Police Throw Handcuffs on Ground in Protest of Ban on Chokehold
Police officers in France have protested and thrown handcuffs on the floor. They were "insulted" by claims that the police in France tolerated and maintained racism and abuse.
Police officers protested in cities across the country on Thursday after several protests against racism against police brutality and racism on French soil last week.
The anti-racism protests prompted Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Monday to ban the "chokehold" of the police. He noted that several officials "had failed to fulfill their republican duty" and the state intended "to track them down and fight them."
The announcement led to protests by police officers who believe that "headrests are very important when handcuffed" and that the French police should not be compared to those in the United States.
"We are angry with the announcements that we suspect the police of everything and nothing while the police in our country really reflect the image of their people," Xavier Leveau of the police union told AFP. "People think that the police are racist while we have people of all races in our country and we all work well together."
However, experts disagree and note that France has a long history of police brutality towards the country's black and Arab population.
"Both the United States and France are societies that are capitalist, racist, and patriarchal," said Mathieu Rigouste, author of La Domination Policière, a book published in 2012 that argues that current French police practice is rooted in colonial times , opposite TIME. "They're built around it."
Both national and international organizations have called on France for police brutality and racial profiling. In 2009, Amnesty International warned of "a pattern of de facto impunity" among French police officers. The Défenseur des droits, a French non-governmental agency tasked with protecting civil rights, published a report in 2017 denouncing the practices of racial profiling. And last year, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called for a "full investigation" into the excessive use of violence by French police officers.
While the recent protests against racism in France have been partially inspired and in solidarity with those in the United States, they are also a response to the death of Adama Traoré, a black Malo-French man who died in 2016 on police officers on June 2 An independent autopsy found that his death was caused by the violent arrest of undefended police forces.
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