Macron discusses ‘building the future’ of Europe
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A police union sent a damning letter to the French President on Monday after two police officers were killed in less than two weeks. Angry policemen are calling on Mr Macron to stop preaching against violence and start acting to change things as quickly as possible.
In an open letter to the French leader, they said: “The days of beautiful tribute ceremonies are over. You need to move from candles to political action. You don’t fight a war with tears.
“You say you are fighting for the right to a peaceful life, but this fight cannot be won with words.
“Police officers and gendarmes cannot defend themselves because of a text on self-defence that is too vague, leaving the field open to all judicial interpretations.
“The permanent police bashing orchestrated by the media and the population considerably hinders our action.
“And the collapse of the judiciary destroys our investigative work.
“The French no longer believe in their justice.”
In a stern warning ahead of the 2022 presidential election, they continued: “If you do not want to end your term with the worst security record in modern history, our police union invites you to resort to the provisions of Law No. 55-385 of April 3, 1955.
“It is urgently necessary to adopt a reform of self-defence for the police and gendarmes allowing them to open fire when a fugitive does not comply or when they are being attacked with mortars or Molotov cocktails.
“Our police union recommends that you draw inspiration from the Brazilian and Filipino model in the fight against narco-terrorism.”
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Commenting on the urgent wake-up call, National Rally MEP Dominique Bilde wrote: “After our army, the police sends an open letter to Macron: ‘The time for beautiful tribute ceremonies is over’.
“Will he also investigate these police officers instead of taking action?”
The letter comes as a French police officer was shot dead in the city of Avignon during an anti-narcotics operation.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said several officers had been shot at during the raid and one had been killed.
“The police officer has died. We think of the family and his colleagues during this terrible drama,” Darmanin said on his Twitter account, adding that he would go to Avignon on Wednesday evening.
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The shooter is on the run in Avignon, a police union source said. BFM television reported that the shooter had fled the scene on a kick scooter.
Late last month, a Tunisian-born man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) fatally stabbed a police administrative worker as she walked into a police station in a Paris commuter town.
The attacker stabbed the woman in the throat, two security sources said.
Macron identified the victim as Stephanie and said the nation stood by her family’s side.
“We will stop at nothing in our resolute fight against Islamist terrorism,” Macron tweeted from his presidential jet as he flew back from Chad.
The attacker was shot dead by police officers.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said France had lost an “everyday heroine” to an act of infinite cowardice.
The police station was located on a leafy residential street in Rambouillet, a middle-class town about 50 km (31 miles) southwest of Paris.
The victim had two daughters, said Michel Camboulives, whose partner was a colleague and close friend of the victim. He said his partner described her as an adorable woman.
“I don’t know how such things happen here,” Camboulives said. “I mean, we’re in France.”
“My partner’s just in pieces. This was her best friend. She couldn’t speak on the phone … She was saying: ‘It could have been me, or it ought to have been me’.”
France has suffered several attacks in recent years that have killed about 250 people.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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