New Year’s Eve celebrations in France led to national outcry after footage of a female police officer being savagely attacked surfaced, among reports that over 1,000 cars were burned overnight and 510 arrests took place.
The female police officer was attacked alongside her male inspector in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne by a large mob in the early hours of Monday morning, with both individuals being hospitalised.
In the footage widely shared to social media, a large group of African appearance males stand around cheering as a female police officer is kicked to the ground, taking several blows to the head. In other parts of social media footage shared by Front National member of parliament Gilbert Collard, men cheer as cars are rolled over.
France’s RTL reports the officers had become isolated from their colleagues while trying to calm a disturbance related to a New Year’s party in the Parisian suburb. While reinforcements were quickly deployed, with officers using “grenades and gunfire” to disperse the crowd, it was too late for the attacked officers to escape injury. Several government vehicles including two fire engines were also damaged during the unrest.
Champigny-sur-Marne, which is the home of three “Zones Urbaines Sensibles” — French government language for areas of extreme deprivation which are known in common discourse as heavily migrant-populated No Go Zones — is also the former home of suspected French Islamic State executioner Michael Dos Santos.
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke out against the violence on Monday afternoon, remarking: “The culprits of the cowardly and criminal lynching of the police doing their duty on the night of December 31st will be found and punished. Force will sustain the law. Honor to the police and full support to all officers crudely attacked.”
Macron’s comments were followed by remarks by the French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who decried the “society of violence” and called for police forces to be strengthened. Calling out particular “neighbourhoods” where violence was able to flourish, the interior minister described a situation in some areas where fire crews could not even enter without a police escort, reports Le Express.
No arrests have been made.
The news of the attack comes as the French government revealed the shocking extent of violence across the country on New Year’s Eve, despite some 140,000 members of the security forces being deployed to the streets to keep order. Some 1,031 cars were burnt out over the course of the night, up from 935 the year before, and arrests stood at 510, up from 456.
Breitbart London reported in 2017 that French authorities declared New Year’s Eve celebrations that year had gone off without incident, despite nearly 1,000 cars being destroyed in predominantly low income, high immigration neighbourhoods.