Demonstrations against racism and police violence: “What is the police doing?”

In the press on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, the shock wave is still after George Floyd’s death, whose funeral is taking place today in Houston. While protests against racism and police violence continue in the US as elsewhere in the world, especially in France. Promises of reform are starting to emerge.

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As protests continue to spread in the United States, Democrats in Congress yesterday presented a series of measures, such as abolishing racial profiling and stripping immobilisation techniques – promises of reforms not yet dated, according to The Washington Post, which reveals that U.S. law enforcement has killed 5,400 people since 2015 , or an average of nearly 1,000 people each year. An almost constant annual figure, despite variations in crime rates, changes in the management of the Metropolitan Police and attempts to promote the reform of criminal law. Daily reported that the overwhelming majority of those shot by the police were armed, that nearly half of them were white and that most of these cases generally received very little media attention.

In France, where protests are also continuing, the Interior Minister made a series of announcements yesterday about the police’s functioning and arrest methods. According to Christophe Castaner, the so-called suffocation technique “will no longer be taught in the police and gendarmerie schools”, and a shutdown will be “systematically considered for any proven suspicion” about police racism. “And Casta showed up”: The exemption regrets that “in addition to the words”, the measures proposed by the Interior Minister, however, remain “limited”, and that the question of “facial checks”, for example, was not “properly addressed”. “We have heard good words and promises. The documents are missing, ”the magazine writes.

These commitments come after the disclosures last week from the StreetPress news site about the presence of a Facebook group that brings together police officers and carries racist messages. Yesterday, the site revealed the presence of a second Facebook group, in which more than 9,000 people, “many of whom are members of the security forces,” exchange, again, messages of a racist nature, especially about “A 14-year-old boy, Gabriel, seriously injured in the eye during his arrest in the Paris suburbs, ten days ago. A wound caused by the violent fires, which he says are carried in the face by one or two police officers. A case on the offending page inspired comments such as: “Seeing the face, it is rum from Serbia, they are attacked in the countries of the east”, or still: “Do good for its ugly mug! #Jesuistrottoir!”. Asked about this topic Christophe Castaner said he was “disturbed” by the “testimonies” surrounding this arrest.