2017 law under fire from critics on the left


By Amber Mathieu Xerri Posted 26 minutes ago, Update 6 minutes ago Bernard Cazeneuve, former Minister of the Interior (2014-2016) and former Prime Minister (2016-2017), who carried the law of…

2017 law under fire from critics on the left

2017 law under fire from critics on the left

By Amber Mathieu Xerri

26 minutes ago, Update 6 minutes ago

Bernard Cazeneuve, former Minister of the Interior (2014-2016) and former Prime Minister (2016-2017), who carried the law of February 28, 2018 JOEL SAGET / AFP

The firearm death of a minor in Nanterre has revived debates on the 2017 law which allows the police to shoot in the event of refusal to comply and self-defense.

Mixed with emotion, the reactions, more pragmatic, flared up a few hours after the tragedy in Nanterre this Tuesday, June 27. In the morning, a 17-year-old young man was shot and killed by a police officer following a refusal to comply. Since then, the law of February 28, 2017, relating to public security, has been under fire from critics.

“ According to the researchers, this multiplication of tragedies is notably linked to the entry into force of the law (…) of February 28, 2017 relating to public security. “, split the communist deputies in a press release this Wednesday, June 28. For their part, the Insoumis, in the forefront of which Manuel Bompard, Mathilde Panot and François Ruffin, did not fail to recall that they claim “since January» the opening of a commission of inquiry into «the consequences of the 2017 law which allowed the police to shoot in the event of refusal to comply“. On the side of the Senate, the elected PS of Saône-et-Loire Jérôme Durain denounces a law which “leads to this type of situation”.

A law accused of maintaining confusion

The law of 28 February 2017 on public security was supported by Bernard Cazeneuve when the latter was successively Minister of the Interior and Prime Minister. Originally, it was to respond to the Molotov tail attack by four police officers in October 2016 while they were carrying out a surveillance mission in a priority security zone in Viry-Châtillon (Essonne). An event that had aroused great emotion from the entire profession, especially since it occurred in a context of social tensions a few weeks after the demonstration against the El Khomri law, during which a police officer had been seriously injured by the same Molotov tail. Police officers ” angry “ had not hesitated, outside the union framework, to demonstrate and defy their right of reserve to demand, among other things, a relaxation of the conditions of self-defense, aligned with those of the gendarmes.

In its final version, the law of February 28, 2017 has several components, including the use of weapons by law enforcement. The one that is worth today to the text to be called into question. A page, more specifically, is singled out: “ National police officers (…) may use their weapons in a strictly proportionate manner (…): When they cannot immobilize, other than by the use of arms, vehicles (…) whose drivers do not obey the order to stop and whose occupants are likely to perpetrate, in their flight, attacks on their life or their physical integrity or those of others “.

But many politicians criticize the text for its lack of clarity. During the session of questions to the government, Tuesday in the embly, the ecologist deputy Sabrina Sebaihi notably reaffirmed “the urgency of reversing the law of February 28, 2017“which she considers to be” too ambiguous in its formulation and which gives the police, according to her, a very questionable reading as to the use of fire “. In June 2022, CNRS research director Fabien Jobard warned on France Info already on the risks of this law which “ came to confuse clear texts “. A ” confusion “ maintained, among other things, by the fact that the law is subject to interpretation. How to demonstrate that the driver, by refusing to comply, was going “harming their physical integrity or that of others” ? And where is the limit of “strictly proportionate” ?

An increase in refusals to comply

While many elected Nupes deplore since Tuesday a 40% increase in police shootings and brandish the figure of 13 deaths in 2022, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin declared that “ since the 2017 law, there have been fewer fatal shootings by police “, without however advancing figures. During the session of questions to the government in the Senate on Wednesday, he notably recalled that “the law of 2017 on the refusal to comply was made in different times, those of the terrorist attacks” and never allowed “that police can shoot a car”.

Same speech on the side of the boss of the Republicans, who is satisfied that there is “a law, and rules that protect those who protect us: the police”, to whom Éric Ciotti reiterated his support. Invited to the Public Senate set, Senator LR from the Alpes-Maritimes Dominique Estrosi-Sone also warned of the risks of “legislating in haste”. And to recall on his Twitter account that “emotion should not take the place of the right”.

Read alsoNanterre: has the number of fatal shootings by police officers when they refuse to comply increased?

In its report, the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) counts 157 shots “ towards moving vehicles in 2021, compared to 110 in 2014, with a peak of 202 in 2017 – the year of the promulgation of the law relating to public security. Nevertheless, if the IGPN reports a slight increase in the number of shots – which have fluctuated between 147 and 202 since 2017, against 110 and 137 over the period 2012-2017 – refusals to comply have also increased by 16.5 % over a year, as shown the report of the National Interministerial Road Safety Observatory published in 2020. Mayor LR of 7e arrondist of Paris, Rachida Dati, like Éric Ciotti, notably deplored “the increase in refusals to comply” : “IIt is urgent to review the devices to fight them effectively »without elaborating on the law of 2017 decried by the left.

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