On May 19, French police unions held a massive demonstration in front of the National Assembly in Paris. More than 35,000 people took part in the event, organizers said.
"We get paid to serve, not to die,” the demonstrators were chanting.
On Monday, May 17, French Prime Minister Jean Castex had a meeting with representatives of police trade unions at his residence in light of increasing number of attacks committed against law enforcement officers.
Jean Castex promised to increase the term of punishment for a crime committed against a police officer or a gendarme to 30 years in prison. In addition, the prime minister said, a possibility to cut the term of punishment for those who attack law enforcement officers would be limited.
Dozens of politicians of every stripe joined the action, including Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who was criticized for his presence at the event, but all went without any incidents.
"Apart from common requirements (lack of resources and personnel), we want to be allowed to do our job. We do not want to be stigmatized. Let us do our job. We also ask for real punishment (for criminals), and so that we do not have to remind of the rule of law at all costs," Unity-SGP-Police delegate Yannick Landurain said on Les GG program.
"We feel that the French support us, but the media regularly demonize us. Our president visits a young man at hospital who complains of unsubstantiated police violence (Landurain probably referred to the visit that former President François Hollande made. — Ed.). Our (Jean) Castex wanted us on our knees (a gesture in support of the BLM movement. — Ed.), because a white policeman killed a black (citizen) 7,000 kilometers far from here," Landurain added.
Russian Blogger Vera Medvedeva interviewed a Russian-speaking French policeman, whose name she kept anonymous not to cause harm to his family.
"If it goes about theft or drug trafficking cases, one has to arrest a person at least 10-12 times before he can get a prison term. If he was convicted to one year in prison, he would continue working and doing his business, and he would come to prison as if it a club where he can hang out and sleep," the officer told the blogger.
Insults and resistance to police officers does not entail any criminal responsibility in France, the officer added. "French courts never jail people for that. One may resolve such a case with a fine that a special public body would pay."
It is assumed that the public body subsequently claims the fine from the offender.
The French law enforcement officer found it difficult to explain why the French authorities do not deport underage illegal migrants who commit dozens of crimes in the country. Moreover, various organizations and associations work to defend those migrants, whereas the police get the blame for everything. The officer also complained that even in emergency cases, when the lives of police officers are at risk, they are not advised to use weapons. The anonymous officer stressed out that migrants and Roma feel total impunity in France.
This week, retired French policemen said in an open letter to the government that the authorities should take measures to "retake the country."
Former police officers warned that the situation in the country was extremely serious from the point of view of security and public order. The law does not work in certain areas of the country, whereas "aggressive minorities" actively challenge the authority of the state.
According to the French Ministry of the Interior, in 2020, 8,719 police officers and gendarmes were injured while on duty (11,217 — in 2019). Earlier, retired French military men wrote an open letter to President Emmanuel Macron about the loss of France and the crisis of security in the country.
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