France promises zero tolerance over racism in police force

Protesters take part in a demonstration to protest in support of the George Floyd and anti-police brutality protests in the United States, and also to commemorate a similar circumstance in France when Adama Traore, a 24-year-old Frenchman was killed in 2016 by police, during an rally in Champ de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, 06 June 2020. EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA

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France has vowed “zero tolerance” over racism among its enforcement authorities after George Floyd’s death in the US raised alarm bells on the European continent.

The country’s interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said on Monday that officers suspected of racist acts or language will be systematically suspended and that the use of body cameras will be strengthened.

Thousands of people ignored coronavirus concerns and gathered in Paris to protest against police violence and racism. In particular, they recalled the case of Adama Traore, who died in custody four years ago.
Castaner insisted that “Racism has no place in society, let alone in our republican police,” while announcing new measures to tack;e on the problem. At the same time, he strongly refuted any comparisons between French and US police, denying the former was inherently racist.
He recalled how law enforcement agencies in the country reflected peopel from all backgrounds and religious beliefs, but admitted that elements of racism still infiltrated the corps.
Castaner said that to wear a uniform — to be “the guardian of the republic” — is an honour and that too many recently “had failed in their republican duties”.

He reminded officers that their registration numbers must be visible at all times and said that every service will be reminded of when identity checks can be carried out.

Among the new measures, French police will now be subjected tot training in combating racism, which will updated on an annual basis.

Specialist investigators will be more broadly deployed and new tools to facilitate reporting racism in law enforcement will be strengthened.

“I want zero-tolerance against racism in our republic,” Castaner said, warning that even those who enforce the law “are never above it”.

“They must, on the contrary, be even more exemplary,” he added.

Read more via Euronews

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