French politics, law & order a toxic brew? Racial profiling has ‘political’ and ‘legal’ implications


France’s highest administrative authority held a landmark hearing Friday over accusations of systemic discrimination in identity checks by French police. Victims are not seeking money, but a ruling to force deep reforms within law enforcement to end racial profiling. Local grassroots organizations and international rights groups allege that French police target Black people and people of Arab descent in choosing who to stop and check. They filed France’s first class-action lawsuit against police in 2021, and the case reached the Council of State on Friday. The government has denied systemic discrimination by police, and has said that police officers are increasingly targeted by violence. A decision is expected in the coming weeks. For more on France’s landmark systemic discrimination case, FRANCE 24’s François PICARD is joined by William Julié, International Criminal Defence and Human Rights Lawyer. The challenge to find real “common ground,” explains Mr. Julié, is that “it is a hugely sensitive matter in terms of elections to come.”

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