Members of the national police demonstrate in front of the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, to protest against Emmanuel Macron's comments on face checks, Monday December 14 -
Police officers demonstrated on Monday evening in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to protest against the remarks made by Emmanuel Macron during an interview with Brut on December 4.
"Today, when you have a skin color that is not white, you are much more controlled [by the police]", declared the head of state.
Uniform, police armbands, flashing lights and screen-printed cars… The gathering asks questions on social networks: have these police officers flouted their duty of reserve?
Could this be the return of the “angry police”, a protest movement that agitated the police in 2016?
Monday evening, around 9:30 p.m., a hundred police officers claiming not to be unionized gathered in front of the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris.
Under a December rain and in the light of the rotating beacons, they sang
to protest against the remarks made by Emmanuel Macron on facial checks during an interview with Brut, on December 4.
If the rally - some of whose participants wore uniforms - went off without incident, as AFP reports, many Internet users questioned the legitimacy of such a demonstration and the lack of framing.
Demonstration-not declared, use of cars out of service, use of the siren except in an emergency and in passing, we could even add a meeting in an organized armed band ... Who evacuates them?
Cc @Interieur_Gouv #police #manifestation https://t.co/4OoJiNJehJ
- Hugo Checinski (@hugo_checinski) December 15, 2020
What are the rules that apply to police officers wishing to demonstrate?
While the police, in accordance with the Internal Security Code, do not have the right to strike, they are not prohibited from participating in a demonstration.
According to their code of ethics, however, police officers are bound by a “duty of discretion”.
While they must “refrain from any expression or manifestation of [their] religious, political or philosophical convictions” in the performance of their duties, they may nevertheless express themselves freely outside of their working hours.
But within "the limits imposed by the duty of reserve and by loyalty to the institutions of the Republic," the document continues.
If police officers can therefore pound the pavement, they must do so in accordance with these rules.
But not only: according to the Penal Code, the organization of an undeclared demonstration exposes its organizers to a penalty of "six months' imprisonment and a fine of 7,500 euros".
At the publication of this article, the Prefecture of Police had not responded to the requests of
on the declaration - or not - of the demonstration.
By departing from his duty of confidentiality and, more generally, by violating the code of ethics, a police officer is exposed to "a disciplinary sanction in application of the rules specific to his status", and this "independently of the criminal sanctions" to which he exposes himself.
In October 2016, shortly after the assault on several of their colleagues in Viry-Châtillon, a few hundred police officers denounced a "careerist hierarchy" and expressed general dissatisfaction by parading on the avenue des Champs-Elysées.
The director general of the national police at the time, Jean-Marc Falcone, had denounced an "unacceptable" situation and entrusted an investigation to the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) in order to "specify the individual breaches" of the rules. statutory.
As tensions did not weaken, the police chief had ended up backing down on Europe 1, assuring that the police would not be punished and that the IGPN would show “pedagogy” towards them.
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