Two months after the riots, questions about the action of the police

Two months after the end of the riots, dozens of communities are still healing their wounds. More than 2,508 fires or damage to buildings, around a hundred town halls burned or damaged, “attacks on elected officials”, 168 schools targeted: the eruption of violence after the death of Nahel M., 17, shot to death carried by a motorcycle police officer in Nanterre on June 27, confronted the most affected municipalities with a difficult summer, marked by the disuse of hundreds of collective equipment and by a nagging question: what lessons can be learned from such ” events” and how they were managed?

Of the “feedback” devoted to the action of the police during the riots, emanating from both the police and the gendarmerie, were indeed transmitted to Gérald Darmanin’s office in July. The entourage of the Minister of the Interior, however, is refusing for the moment to report it publicly and the communication services of the police and the gendarmerie do not intend to “specify their exact scope or share their conclusions”.

Among the avenues for reflection is the perpetuation of the use of specialized units such as the Research, istance, Intervention, Dissuasion (RAID) unit, the Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI) or the Intervention Group of the national gendarmerie (GIGN) to curb outbreaks of urban violence. Of the “exceptional means”, declared the Minister of the Interior, on TF1June 30.

According to several sources at the Ministry of the Interior, the more frequent use of these units in the event of urban violence is now being studied but is far from unanimous among those concerned. Mobilizing, at the risk of injury, high-level operators whose training is as long as it is costly, could prove counterproductive, and their action, even justified in very degraded situations, would distance them from their main missions: the fight against the most dangerous forms of crime, terrorism, hostage-taking by madmen.

“Creme de la police”

“We are not at all trained for this kind of riot, we are not used to this”, summed up an operator from the RAID branch in Marseille in police custody, cited by Mediapart, after the death of Mohamed Bendriss, 27, probably following a shot from a defensive bullet thrower. In fact, the officials of two local branches of the police intervention unit are today implicated, in this Marseille case and after the shooting of a “beanbag” (an anti-riot munition) in Mont -Saint-Martin (Meurthe-et-Moselle), where a young man was seriously injured.

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