Women Support French Police Amid Public Discontent

Several dozen women demonstrated Saturday in support of French police in central Paris, to counter public discontent over the perceived way law enforcement treats minorities.The demonstration of support surfaced as local governments across France attempt to change law enforcement practices and punish officers suspected of racism following the death of African American George Floyd while in the custody of officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Police officers and their unions in France accuse governments of blaming police for deep-rooted social ills in an attempt to deflect public anger.Among the women supporting police outside the Paris police headquarters Saturday were wives and partners of officers. One carried a message for Interior Minister Christophe Castaner that read “Respect our Police.”Castaner infuriated police this month when he acknowledged there were cases of racism in the police force and proposed sentences for officers found guilty of “proven suspicions of racism.”Police themselves have been protesting efforts to change their practices and punish them. Hundreds of officers rallied Friday night outside Paris’ Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people were killed in a terrorist attack by Islamist militants in 2015.  Protests erupted around the world following U.S. outrage over the May 25 death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man. City lawmakers Friday unanimously advanced a proposal that could lead to the dismantling of that city’s police department.

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