Police brutality investigations in France amid 'civil war' climate
In France, police brutality has prompted authorities to launch investigations, while opposition leader Fabien Roussel accuses the French President of a plot to alter public opinion.
15 investigations of police brutality against demonstrators have been opened in France amid widespread protests that opposed French President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms, local media reported on Saturday.
According to BFM, investigations are centered on the use of excessive force and verbal threats by police teams against protestors.
It was further reported that three of the investigations were opened by the Paris public prosecutor, while the interior minister authorized the other 12 investigations.
According to Matthieu Valet, a senior official of the police labor organization SICP, "violent practices by some police" may be related to police exhaustion brought on by extended working hours.
The dismantling of the BRAV-M police unit, one of the groups accused of employing excessive force on the protestors, was ruled out by Laurent Nunez, a senior police commander in Paris.
Nunez explained that “the behavior of a few individuals should not cast opprobrium on an entire unit which, in recent years, and particularly at this time, has proven its usefulness."
Marcon accused of fostering anger sentiments in streets
In parallel, the leader of the French Communist Party (PCF), Fabien Roussel, blamed Macron for creating conditions for “civil war”.
In an interview on RMC, Roussel said that Macron "provoked the French and aroused a lot of range," by making the decision to use Article 49, subsection 3 (49.3) of the French constitution to pass the reform, as well as a speech which Roussel described as "offbeat and contemptuous."
Roussel stressed that the pension reform decision had "provoked violent anger" and highlighted the significance of the increasing number of violent individuals. Roussel said, that only 1,000 demonstrators were being violent out of 3.5 million, meaning that the demonstrations were not violent in nature.
The opposition leader also suggested that Macron could be feeding the anger to alter public opinion against the demonstrations. He said, "I wonder if this is not what the President of the Republic is looking for, to do everything to radicalize the movement, to arouse so much anger that it overflows (...) and turn public opinion against the demonstrations."
Roussel concluded "I think as much of these demonstrators as of the police (...) The President is creating a climate of civil war."