Not Just in America: French Authorities Cover for Abusive Police Too
This article from Ferguson In Paris, an anti-police brutality group in France, does not contain a byline. The reason for this is because members of that group say they must maintain anonymity as much as possible remain to avoid abusive retaliation from authorities and others in France. “We publish under the name of the organization because of fierce repression regarding activists dealing with police brutality,” explained a Ferguson In Paris member during a recent email exchange with ThisCan’tBeHappening.net. The claimed support by French government authorities and other for freedom of speech following the fatal shootings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office last January 2015 apparently do not extend to French activists opposed to brutality by French police. (Ferguson In Paris, an organization that fights against police brutality and racism/discrimination in France, works in solidarity with anti-brutality groups in the United States.)
AN UGLY UNDERSIDE OF FRANCE: RAMPANT POLICE BRUTALITY
In 2005, the human rights monitoring organization Amnesty International published a report titled: “France: The search for justice.” That Amnesty report examined allegations of serious human rights violations by law enforcement officials across France between 1991 and 2005. Those human rights violations by law enforcers included unlawful killings, excessive use of force, torture, and other mistreatment. Racist abuse was reported in many cases examined by Amnesty and racist motivation appeared to be a factor in many more. As that report noted, the persistent targets of police abuse in France are "foreign nationals or French nationals of foreign origin."
On the basis of the evidence examined, Amnesty International concluded that a pattern of de facto impunity existed with regard to police and other law enforcement officials in France. Failures by French officials "to address" police abuses have created a "climate of effective impunity for law enforcement officers," the report stated.
That report identified a number of factors contributing to this impunity. Those factors included gaps or flaws in legislation; reluctance or failure of police, prosecutors and courts to thoroughly investigate and prosecute human rights violations involving law enforcement officials; and sentences which were not commensurate with the gravity of the crime. Like Ferguson and most other places in the United States, the Amnesty report stated that convictions of abusive police across France are "relatively rare, or when they occurred, sentences have mainly been nominal."