The case of 17-year-old Nahel, who was killed by a police officer in the Nanterre district on Tuesday, has put the issue of police violence back at the center of public debate and triggered a wave of protests in major French cities: from Paris to In Lyon, from Toulouse from Lille to Amiens, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in uniform to demonstrate against the abuses.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced this morning that police had arrested a total of 150 people who took part in the protests tonight.
A night of unbearable violence against the symbols of the Republic: mayoral offices, schools and commissariats, instigated or attacked. 150 interpellations. Soutien aux policemen, gendarmes and sapeurs-pompiers who face with courage. To be honest, I couldn’t keep calm.
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) June 29, 2023
However, the Nahel case is not an isolated case, just the latest in a worrying series of similar cases that have been mounting in France since 2017. Two weeks earlier, near Angoulême, a similar fate happened to 19-year-old Alhoussein Camara, who was shot in the chest by a police officer during a stop. In both cases, the murders are said to be associated with the so-called refus d’obtempérer – or when a person behind the wheel refuses to stop at a police check.
According to the Data circulated independent French newspaper Enough!In fact, from 2017 to date, the number of people killed by guns during or after a police officer has increased refus d’obtempérer, has increased significantly: at least 26 victims were recorded in six years (2017–2023), compared to 17 in the previous fifteen years (2002–2017). In 2022 alone, 13 people lost their lives in this way.
As remember Filippo Ortona on the posterThe year 2017 marks a turning point in the evolution of the phenomenon: earlier in the year, the socialist presidency of François Hollande, under pressure from police unions, approved a relaxation of the rules governing the “legitimate defence” of police officers and the use of service weapons. The new legislation has expanded the legal framework for the use of firearms by officers and has a particularly clear impact on incidents refus d’obtempérer. Essentially, the provision authorized police officers to “use their own weapons” when there were no other options to “immobilize” vehicles that refuse to stop at checkpoints and that are “likely to cause damage to their own weapons in their escape.” could”. life to that of others”.
A law that “allows police officers to shoot at citizens even if they do not pose a serious and imminent threat,” according to a statistical study by researchers Sebastien Roché (Cnrs), Paul le Derff (University of Lille) and published late last year Simon Varaine (University of Grenoble). The three experts analyzed the changes brought about by the 2017 reform and concluded that shootings of drivers in such cases had become “more frequent since the February 2017 law”.