Row as French police accused of 'repressive' use of custody during pension protests

Police — Interview

The French government has become embroiled in a dispute with the independent public body responsible for overseeing the rights of people held in custody or prison. That body, the Contrôleur Général des Lieux de Privation de Liberté, inspected custody conditions in nine Paris police stations during the height of the anti-pension reforms demonstration in March. In a subsequent report it has criticised what it calls “serious infringements” of the rights of those being held and the “repressive use” of custody by the police. The interior minister Gérald Darmanin has hit back, claiming the controller general has “exceeded her jurisdiction”, while the Paris police chief said he felt “insulted”. Mediapart's Célia Mebroukine spoke to the controller general, Dominique Simonnot, about the controversy.

Man critically injured in clashes with police in NW France demo

France — Link

A 30-year-old man is in hospital in a critical condition after he was wounded to the head by a grenade fired by police during a demonstration by environmental activists against the building of a giant water reservoir for cereal farmers, when the very violent clashes left dozens of others injured among both police and demonstrators. 

French police shoot dead two people in separate incidents

France — Link

A woman aged 22 was killed in Rennes in western France and a a man was shot dead by police in the southern city of Nice.

French police officer fatally shot men 'as car drove away'

France — Link

Reports about the Pont Neuf shooting in Mediapart and Libération question the officer’s claim he was acting to save lives of colleagues because car was driving at them. 

Witness calls Paris police officers into question over fatal shooting

France — Link

A Paris police patrol, who last weekend opened fire on the occupants of car whose driver had refused the officers' oders to pull over, and who fatally wounded a woman passenger, 'could have acted differently' according a friend of the victim who was also present in the vehicle.

Police shoot dead knifeman at Paris Gare du Nord railway station

France — Link

Transport police shot dead a man who reportedly threatened  them with a knife during the early rush hour on Monday inside the Paris Gare du Nord station, the busiest in Europe, which officials later said is not believed to be a terrorist-related incident. 

French police car in hit-and-run crash after officer fires Taser

France — Link

Six French police officers from Roubaix in northern France are under investigation after their five-seat car crashed into a parked vehicle when a woman officer fired a Taser at the driver, apparently as a joke, after which, according to a local prosecutor, they fled the scene.

French court blocks police filming ban in Macron security law

France — Link

Constitutional Council said that MPs who passed the controversial legislation had not set out clearly enough what would constitute a breach of the law in such situations.

Dodgy dossier: scandal of investigation into petrol bomb attack on French police

France — Investigation

On April 18th 2021 five youths were found guilty on appeal of an attack in 2016 in which two police officers were set ablaze when their patrol car was pelted with petrol bombs in a Paris suburb. The five were given jail terms of between six and 18 years. Eight other youths were acquitted. The appeal verdicts, which were more lenient than the original trial in 2019, caused outrage among some politicians and led to a protest march by angry police officers. But Mediapart can reveal that the real scandal was the way in which police detectives ran the initial investigation into the brutal attack in Viry-Châtillon. Officers truncated or cut out entire sections of what suspects said in custody. They also put pressure on them to implicate other youths from the area. Lawyers for some of those involved have described it as a “legal scandal” and formal complaints have now been made to prosecutors about the conduct of the detectives. Pascale Pascariello reports.

Elderly woman fined in France for lockdown form error

France — Link

The elderly woman diagnosed with dementia must pay a fine of €166 for having put the wrong date on her form for leaving home during lockdown.

Revealed: another shocking case of Paris police violence

France — Investigation

As incidents of police violence and the failure of the authorities to effectively address the issue continue to occupy public debate in France, Mediapart reveals here, with video footage, the violent and illegal arrests in Paris of six innocent young men by gun-wielding officers, one of whom fired bullets into their car. In what has all the appearance of a cover-up, not only was one of the six victims sent for trial for violence, but the officer who shot at him without any justification is still on duty because, the police administration claimed, prosecutors concluded he acted in self-defence. Which is untrue. Pascale Pascariello and Armel Baudet report.

Controversial Paris police prefect crosses redline again


Paris police prefect Didier Lallement has courted controversy before and after his appointment last year as the capital’s law and order chief. Despite his rough-and-tough policing strategy, notably of demonstrations, and his insensitive public comments, this adept of pomp and high-handed authority has survived thanks to the backing of the executive. But, as Camille Polloni reports, following the public and political outrage over separate shocking incidents last week of police violence, he may now be facing the door.

Macron denounces police assault against black music producer

France — Link

Amid widespread outrage in Ferance over video images of an apparently racist and fierce assault by Paris police of black music producer Michel Zecler last weekend, President Emmanuel Macron released a statement on Facebook describing the attack as 'shameful', adding that 'those who apply the law must respect the law'.

Protests mount over new French bill banning images of police officers

France — Link

Proposed legislation to ban the dissemination on social or traditional media of police officers' faces, justified as protecting the safety of police staff, and which would apply to civilians and journalists alike, has prompted street protests in Paris and other cities across the country over what demonstraors say is a law which would gag disclosure of police abuses. 

Undercover journalist exposes Paris police racism and abuse

France — Link

Freelance reporter Valentin Gendrot spent two years as a junior police officer, eventually posted to a north Paris police station where, he details in a book published this week, he says he witnessed racism and gratuitous violence by a minority of officers but who were covered by their hierarchy, and which has prompted an internal police investigation into his claims.