Police

Amateur footage of French police 'brutality' - Mediapart has second video

France

A police officer has been filmed striking a woman with his baton and spraying her and another person in the face with tear gas. The interior minister has announced an inquiry, while police unions have played down the affair. They say the officer had been bitten and that events that took place before the filming of the video, which was posted on YouTube, support his actions. But Mediapart has now obtained a second video showing what had occurred earlier and which raises doubts about the police version of the incident. Louise Fessard reports.

French detectives seek vehicle in Alps murder investigation

France — Link

Officers release image of dark-coloured 4x4 they want to trace in connection with murder last September of engineer Saad al-Hilli and three others.

French detectives seek vehicle in Alps murder investigation

Link

Officers release image of dark-coloured 4x4 they want to trace in connection with murder of engineer Saad al-Hilli and three others in September.

Confused Indonesia police arrest 17 over French flag

International — Link

Officers arrested 17 local supporters of France's football team after mistaking their hoisted French flag for a bold separatist statement.

Frenchman arrested for impersonating pilot in cockpit at Philadelphia airport

International — Link

Philippe Jernnard from La Rochelle was on a US Airways plane bound for Florida when the flight crew found him in the jump seat behind the pilot.

Paris bus driver 'beaten up by police officers'

France

On the face of it, the incident looked like yet another regrettable but sadly all-too common attack on a bus company employee. But in the middle of the assault on the 35-year-old in central Paris, one of the two assailants pulled out his warrant card and told onlookers he was a police officer. The police complaints authority is now investigating. However, as Louise Fessard reports, despite the attack being captured on video surveillance cameras and the fact that the attackers are readily identifiable, no arrests have yet been made.

French appeals court reopens investigation into Clichy-sous-Bois deaths

France

A decision to drop legal proceedings against two policemen accused of failing to attempt to prevent the fatal electrocution near Paris of  two teenage boys they were trying to arrest – an incident which sparked nationwide riots – was overturned on Wednesday by France’s highest appeals court. The landmark ruling, seven years after the events, now opens up the path for a trial of the officers in what is a politically and socially highly-charged case, regarded by many as symbolic of the critical tensions between police and young populations in France’s suburban sink estate zones. Michel Deléan reports.

France investigates Marseille anti-crime squad police

France — Link

At least 12 members of 'anti-crime' sqaud arrested after claims that they stole drugs and cash from drug dealers and cigarettes from illicit sellers.

High-profile security firm accused of inflating workplace injuries to boost its taxpayer-funded budget

France — Investigation

The security firm GPIS runs a much-envied service safeguarding many of Paris' most difficult social housing estates. But this flagship organisation, which has top-level political links and is funded with public money, stands accused of artificially increasing the number and extent of injuries suffered by its agents in the line of duty in order to increase its budget. Former and current staff also talk of a “climate of fear” and stress at the heart of the organisation and of a management culture that systematically encourages false witness statements in legal proceedings. Louise Fessard investigates.

Police files shed light on wartime Jewish roundup in France

International — Link

Archives opened on the 'Vel d’Hiv Roundup', in which thousands of Jews were deported from Vichy France during World War Two.

Hollande government fires three top cops

France — Link

France's new Socialist government has fired three top police officers, accused of being political appointments of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

French police face racial profiling lawsuit

France

In what could become a judicial landmark in France, a group of 15 Black French citizens and others of Arab-origin, aged between 16 and 47, filed a lawsuit this week against the French State for having been subjected to racial profiling by police. They are demanding that the French Ministry of the Interior prove that the identity checks to which they were subjected by police have a legal basis and are not founded on the colour of their skin nor their ethnic background. Louise Fessard reports.

French prime minister defends police handling of gunman Merah

France — Link

Police had no grounds on which to arrest gunman Mohammed Merah before he carried out three attacks in which seven people died, says PM.

The divide between France and its police

France — Interview

Last month French interior minister Claude Guéant announced a drive to put thousands more police on the streets to create "a climate of security" and called on senior officers to encourage closer relations with local populations. But the relationship between the police and public in France has long been a troubled one, rooted in history and pervaded by a strong mistrust on both sides. In an interview with Mediapart, Christian Mouhanna, a researcher and academic specialised in police and judicial issues, identifies the causes and explains why so many attempts to bridge the divide have failed, creating an increasing malaise within the police itself.

How the Ben Ali regime spooked a nation

International — Investigation

The fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak followed directly the overthrow in January of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. The two strongmen had much in common, beginning with their secret police. Mediapart has obtained official documents seized during the strife in Tunisia which illustrate the extent of the Ben Ali regime's nationwide web of informers, ranging from taxi drivers to undercover agent 'activists'.