Police violence: why France's interior minister must go

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There has been widespread outrage in France after video footage emerged of three police officers apparently gratuitously beating a black music producer in Paris, who was left with serious injuries from punches, kicks, baton blows and the explosion of a tear gas grenade in his studio last weekend. François Bonnet argues here that the events highlight how interior minister Gérald Darmanin has made a policy of flattering the most extremist fringes of the police, creating disorder amid heightened police violence. It is high time, he writes, for Darmanin to go.

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Just a few days ago at the National Assembly, France’s lower house, interior minister Gérald Darmanin defended the draft “Global security” legislation now proceeding through parliament with an attack on comments by the radical-left France Insoumise party leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “Glory, yes, glory for the police and gendarmes,” he declared. A little later, again speaking before Members of Parliament (MPs), he told the assembly: “I am very happy, very happy, to defend the police […] honour upon the police.”