Angry police in street protests

Unions call for mass meetings and say officer's murder charge was "last straw"

9 May 2012

ANGRY police have protested in major cities in support of an officer charged with murder after shooting a known criminal as he fled.

Officers also took to the streets in Paris, Nice and in Parisian suburb Evry yesterday and leading police unions Unité-police SGP-FO and Alliance have called two separate "days of action" today and tomorrow.

The unions said they wanted to protest against working conditions - whether under left or right-wing control - and the murder charge had been the final straw.

Unité-police SGP-FO has called for a "mass meeting" of Ile-de-France police today at 13.00 Place du Châtelet in Paris with other major meetings in Aix-en-Provence, Toulouse and Lyon. Aliance has called for protest meetings on Friday lunchtime in front of prefectures.

There have already been several demonstrations since the shooting, on April 25, with street protests in Paris and suburbs, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Pau. In Paris officers had driven the streets with sirens blaring to make their anger known.

Yesterday around 150 police had gathered in a spontaneous non-union meeting in front of the prefecture in Nice; while in Evry up to 80 police did the same. In Paris, around 40 gathered on the esplanade in front of Notre-Dame.

Unité-police SGP-FO hit at the Sarkozy government for its policies of cutting police numbers and called for the new government to halt the cuts. It also wants the police "presumption of innocence" to apply to the officer charged over the Noisy-le-Sec (Seine-Saint-Denis) shooting.

Alliance has launched a petition calling for the "presumption of legitimate defence" over the officer's case. It also wants the incoming Hollande government to set up a "Grenelle de la Sécurité" programme, setting out public safety policies.

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