Shooting in France shows US not alone in struggle with racism, police brutality – Times of India

Washington: A police killing was caught on video. Long-running tensions over law enforcement’s treatment of minorities sparked protests and riots. demand for accountability.
Events in France following the death of a 17-year-old boy from police shooting in a Paris suburb are drawing parallels to the racial reckoning in the US prompted by the killings of George Floyd and other people of color at the hands of law enforcement.
Despite the differences between the two countries’ cultures, police forces and communities shooting in france And the outrage there this week has exposed that America is not alone in a systemic struggle. Casteism And police brutality,
“These are things that happen when you are French but with foreign roots. We are not considered French, and they only look at the color of our skin, where we come from, even if we were born in France,” said SOS Racisme activist Tracey Ladjie. “Racism kills within the police, and a lot of them hold far-right views…so it has to stop.”
In an editorial published this week, French newspaper Le Monde wrote that recent events were “reminiscent” of Floyd’s 2020 killing by a white Minneapolis police officer, which sparked months of unrest in the US and internationally, including in Paris.
The newspaper wrote, “The act was committed by a law enforcement officer, was filmed and broadcast almost live and involved a symbolic representative of a socially discriminated category.”
The French teen, identified as Nahel, was shot on Tuesday during a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. The video shows two officers standing at the window of the car, one of whom points a gun at the driver. As the teen sped away, the officer fired a single shot through the windshield.
Nahel’s grandmother, who did not identify herself by name, told Algerian television Ennaher TV that her family has roots in Algeria.
Preliminary charges of voluntary manslaughter were filed against the officer accused of pulling the trigger, however this did nothing to stop the riots that spread across the country and resulted in hundreds of arrests. The prosecutor said the officer said he feared that he and his aide or anyone else might be hit by the car as Nahel tried to escape.
The officials have not disclosed the caste of the officer. His lawyer said that he did what he felt was necessary at the moment. Speaking on French TV channel BFMTV, the lawyer said the officer was “devastated,” and that “he really didn’t want to kill.”
Nahel’s mother, identified as Mounia M, told France 5 television that she was not angry with the police in general. She is furious at the officer who killed her only child.
“He saw a little boy who looked like an Arab. He wanted to kill her,” he said.
Police shootings in France are much less common than in the US, but have been on the rise since 2017. Many experts believe there is a connection with legislation easing restrictions on when officers can use deadly force against drivers following a series of terrorist attacks using vehicles.
Officers may fire upon a vehicle when a driver fails to obey an order and when the driver’s actions are likely to endanger his or her life or that of others. The French police have also been regularly criticized for their violent tactics.
Unlike the US, France keeps no data on race and ethnicity as part of its doctrine of colour-blind universalism – an approach which claims to see everyone as equal citizens. Critics say the theory has hidden generations of systemic racism.
Paul Hirschfield, director of the criminal justice program at Rutgers University, said of France, “I can’t think of any country in Europe with more chronic or dangerous problems of police racism, brutality and impunity.” Hirschfield has published several papers comparing policing practices and homicides in the US to those of other countries.
Experts said video of the shootout — which appeared to contradict initial police statements that the teen was driving toward the officer — prompted politicians to quickly condemn the killing. Even before charges were filed against the officer, French President Emmanuel Macron called the shooting “inexcusable”.
This is nothing new to Americans, who before the harrowing footage death of george floyd Multiple videos of violent police encounters involving a Minneapolis police officer under the knee were often taken by witnesses and at times contradicted initial statements by police.
“I have not seen a case where the interior minister has been so quick to condemn the shootings. There was unrest in the previous killings, but there was no video. It changes everything,” Hirschfield said.
Police in France typically undergo training lasting about 10 months, which is longer than in many US cities, but has one of the shortest training requirements in Europe.
However, experts said they do not believe French police receive training that is equivalent to the implicit bias training required of many American police officers, as part of an effort to reform policing in diverse communities, although many American critics has questioned the effectiveness of the training.
African, Arab and Asian populations are increasing in France and other European countries.
“If you are in a country with a colonial past, it is a stigma. And if it’s so traumatic that you can’t handle that conversation about race, you certainly won’t have relevant training for officers,” said Stacey Kesey, co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity, which works on United Nations International Expert Mechanism for Advancing Racial Justice and Equity in Law Enforcement.
Bertrand Cavalier, a former commander of France’s National Gendarmerie Training School, said that French law enforcement should not be judged by the actions of an officer.
“This is a case of a police officer who made a mistake and should not have done so. But he was arrested, and I think this should be a clear message regarding the will of the government,” he said.