Paris, Jun 11 (EFE).- About 200 people rallied on the Place de la République in Paris on Saturday to denounce police brutality and to protest a provision on the use of firearms by law enforcement.
The rally comes in the wake of the death of a 21-year-old woman who was shot by police last week.
The shooting sparked a political row about the use of violence by France’s security forces ahead of legislative elections, with the first round being held on Sunday.
The Killer Police collective, made up of relatives of people who have been killed or injured in police actions, was one of the groups who organized the protest to demand the repeal of an article of the 2017 law on internal security.
“We are here because a young woman, who was a passenger in a car, who the police said did not want to stop at a checkpoint and was targeted by three policemen. The woman is dead and the driver is wounded,” an official of a “committee for truth and justice for Lamin Dieng,” who died in 2007 after being arrested by police, told Efe.
Another of the demonstrators pointed out, in the same vein, that the aim of the rally was to denounce “police violence” and “the fact that the police can kill with impunity without being held accountable to justice, that the police can shoot civilians like this for free”.
One of the organizers wanted to take advantage of the legislative elections to be held on Sunday in France so that “the parties that are on the side of justice, that fight against state racism, can at least repeal article L435-1”.
Article L435-1 allows law enforcement officers to use their weapons “in case of absolute necessity” when their physical integrity or that of others is in danger.
In particular if, after having issued warnings, they are unable to stop a vehicle that jumps a police checkpoint and that with its escape could pose a threat to security.
The latest calls for action against police brutality in France come after a female passenger in a car that refused to stop at a police checkpoint in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, in the north of the city.
The driver, a repeat offender, who did not have a license, was also wounded in the chest. He has been charged with attempted homicide of the police officers, among other charges, and is being held in custody.
After questioning, the officers were released without charge pending further investigation.
Left-wing leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon triggered a political controversy in the middle of the campaign, strongly condemning the police and blaming the government on Twitter and later in an interview.
The leader of the left-wing coalition criticized “another unacceptable abuse of power” that in practice means the “death penalty for not obeying”. He claimed that “the police kill” and that there is a “disproportionate use of violence.”
This triggered a harsh response from several members of the government and the far right, who accused him in particular of denigrating the police. EFE