The ‘Angry Police Wives’ group has staged a protest on the eve of the French presidential elections, after several police officers were injured and one killed by an Islamist armed with a Kalashnikov rifle.
Over a hundred wives, husbands and other partners of serving police officers marched in Paris to protest what they see as a failure on the part of the Socialist Party government to protect officers like the ones targeted in the deadly shooting on April 20th.
Thirty-seven-year-old Xavier Jugelé was murdered by Karim Cheurfi, a career criminal living with his Algerian mother, who and had been previously imprisoned for attempting to murder another police officer. He had handwritten notes defending the Islamic State terror group and a copy of the Qu’ran with him, according to reports.
The 'Angry Police Wives' put their feet down in Paris protest https://t.co/E7dJbsZOAW
— FemmesSécuritéPaix (@SecurityPaix) April 22, 2017
The authorities have revealed that he should have been recalled to prison prior to his deadly attack, after breaking his parole to travel to Algeria.
“The Meaux prosecutor’s office [legal authority] demanded that he be recalled to jail to complete his sentence,” admitted Francois Molins, France’s most senior investigating magistrate.
“[But] On the 7th April Karim Cheurfi was brought before a young magistrate who reminded him of his [prison release] obligations without ordering him to complete the rest of his prison sentence.”
— Elyse Ashton (@ElyseAshton1) April 21, 2017
In an interview with Sky News diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn, one wife said she wanted the government to “protect her husband”.
She said she was “angry because [officers] are not protected and it’s not [right] that they are killed like that. We want protection for them. For all forces. Gendarmes, firemen, policemen.”
Asked if she thought the Champs-Élysées killing would have an effect on the presidential elections, she said, “Yes. We want more security.”
French police officers' wives and husbands demonstrate in Paris about terror shooting. pic.twitter.com/kJIXlZQ5OM
— Dominic Waghorn (@DominicWaghorn) April 22, 2017
Security has been a key theme of Front National leader Marine Le Pen’s campaign. Minutes before news of the attack broke she was saying that it was “a major subject that nobody has mentioned.”
She added: “We must take control of our national borders to know who is coming in. We must reorganise the intelligence services, reinforce the means at the disposal of police and gendarmes, and attack the evil at its roots – that’s to say the communitarianism and the development of Islamic fundamentalism.”
Her main rival for the presidency, the former Socialist economy minister and Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron, has struck a more passive tone, describing radical Islamic terrorism as an “imponderable problem” which will be “part of our daily lives for the years to come”.