Sarkozy and the French Police 



a documentary film : Sarkozy and the French Police 

Director : Jean-Michel Décugis
Length : 45'
Year : 2010
Producer : Daniel Leconte

Abstract

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 ... Melun, a city in the southeast suburbs of Paris, pays special tribute to the French officer killed by ETA. And while President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks, a dozen police officers turn their backs. A gesture of defiance against the president who, until recently, had the full confidence of the police... It is symbolic of a deep malaise that has been eating away at this fundamental institution over the past five years. And this is the telling scene that sets the stage for this film. The police force is demoralised and in disarray. Young officers, with very little training and very few means, patrol highly sensitive areas... And amid all of the urban rioting, drug trafficking, social misery, and daily violence, the cops become targets themselves. Today’s angry youth regard the cops on patrol as nothing more than a rival gang. During the 2007 riots in Paris’ northeastern suburb of Villers Le Bel, over 30 cops were shot. And all of the wounded officers were sworn to silence. "Fear has changed sides," says one officer. The Republic has effectively given up on certain neighbourhoods. Today the mantra is: avoid a riot at all costs.