Soft Sentences for Youths Who Attempted to Burn French Police Alive

A molotov cocktail thrown by protesters explodes in front of riot police in the central district of Exarchia in Athens, on December 6, 2016, following a commemorative rally marking the eighth anniversary of the killing of teenager Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a Greek police officer. Hundreds of pupils, university students and …

A group of youths aged between 19 and 24 were handed sentences between 10 and 20 years for attempting to burn two police officers alive in their patrol vehicle in 2016.

Thirteen youths appeared at the Assize Court of Essonne, with eight of them sentenced to between 10 and 20 years for attempted murder and five others acquitted, broadcaster Franceinfo reports.

The attack on the police officers took place in Viry-Châtillon in 2016 in the Grande Borne district, one of the region’s most “sensitive areas”, when a group of around 20 youths attacked the officers while they were in their vehicles.

The officers involved were badly burned as a result of the attack that saw the assailants break their vehicle’s windows and throw a molotov cocktail inside the car. Two other officers were wounded by rocks during the incident, as well.

French police unions reacted to the sentences saying that they felt they were too light. The national delegate of the union Unit SGP-Police Linda Kebbab argued that the attackers should have been given life sentences.

“This message is incomprehensible to all police officers. When attempting to kill a police officer, it is normally life imprisonment. Today justice sentenced people between 10 and 20 years for trying to burn humans alive,” Kebbab said.

Attacks against police in France have become common in the last several years, leading to a protest against working conditions in Paris in October that was attended by 27,000 officers from across the country.

French police unions have also highlighted a growing problem with police suicides which now outnumber officers who dying in the line of duty.

Denis Jacob, head of the Alternative Police CFDT union, claimed that the situation was the worst it has been in the last 30 years. The suicide rate for officers is 36 per cent higher than the general population.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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