French police dump handcuffs in protest to rebuff critics

BBC- Angry police across France have thrown their handcuffs on the ground as they feel “insulted” by claims that they tolerate brutality and racism.

Protesting police also drove in convoy down the Champs-Élysées in central Paris on Friday, sounding their horns.

They rejected any parallels with the Minneapolis police officers whose fatal arrest of George Floyd sparked a wave of anti-racism protests worldwide.

And they are furious with a government ban on the police “chokehold”.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced the ban on Monday, after French protesters took to the streets alleging that police in France exhibited racism towards ethnic minorities, in the same way that US police have been accused of using brutality towards black suspects.

Mr Castaner held talks with police unions on Thursday and they are continuing, as the government seeks to cool an intense racism debate that has re-ignited tensions in some communities.

Protesting police in Paris, 12 Jun 20Image copyrightAFP
Image captionPolice in central Paris on Friday: “No police, no peace”, the banner reads

There was trouble earlier this month when protesters, inspired by the US anti-racism marches, commemorated Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation.

Police have also been accused of seriously wounding a 14-year-old boy called Gabriel, when he was detained on suspicion of trying to steal a scooter in Bondy near Paris late last month.

Anti-racism activists plan to march from République to Opéra in central Paris on Saturday. The Paris police department has warned that shops and other businesses in the area should close and board up their windows, as trouble could flare up again.