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Last month two police officers who stood trial for failing to prevent the deaths by electrocution of two teenagers in a Paris suburb in 2005 were acquitted. The court case, which took place nearly ten years after the events that sparked widespread rioting across France, highlighted how little has changed in that time to improve the often tense relations between the police and the populations in deprived urban areas, and notably youths from racial minorities. There have been no wide-ranging inquiries in France to identify the root causes of the tensions, while a report on the issue, which offers some practical if modest solutions, has been languishing on the current interior minister's desk for nearly a year. Louise Fessard considers why there has been so startlingly little progress in improving police-community relations over the last, lost decade.
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