Two plainclothes members of the French riot police, the CRS, were brutally beaten at a bar in Le Mans but refused to defend themselves in case their actions provoked allegations of police brutality.
The incident took place in a pub earlier this month when the officers had decided to “lend a hand” to patrons in the pub during an escalating conflict between two parties.
One of the police officers went outside with an individual who had been involved in the conflict and told the person that he and his colleague were members of the police, Le Figaro reports.
Two women immediately became angry with the two officers. They then re-entered the bar and were attacked. “He was on the ground, in the fetal position and he received a rain of blows,” one of the officers said of his colleague. The attacked officer was unable to stand as his leg had been broken during the beating.
The second officer was also attacked by a woman who hit him in the face. But the officer said he did not defend himself out of fear of possible repercussions.
Claim: French Police Refuse Arrest Over Fears of Being Sacked for Racism https://t.co/2XC5nb3FUd
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“I did not want to hit her because it was a woman, black moreover. With the particular context of the moment, I especially didn’t want us to talk about police violence,” he said.
Three individuals were arrested in connection to the attack, two of them placed in pre-trial detention.
“Some colleagues now prefer to refrain from responding to violence for fear of getting into trouble,” said Frédéric Lagache, general delegate of the police union Alliance.
Earlier this month, a similar incident took place in the city of La Rochelle in which police refused to arrest a youth yelling insults at them and trying to confront them in fear they may lose their jobs as a result.
The change of attitude of French police comes after several Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests that have taken place across France in the wake of the death of black American George Floyd in the United States.
French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that he will not tear down statues at the demands of BLM activists, but behind closed doors has expressed concerns the protests could spread and intensify across France.