PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of French police officers protested outside the National Assembly on Wednesday to demand a government crackdown on violence against the security forces and tougher punishment for aggressors.
Some booed Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin who briefly attended the rally in what he said was a show of support for the police force.
Police unions complain that the government is failing to protect officers from daily attacks that leave some afraid of doing their jobs in certain areas.
“This can’t go on any longer. You really need to protect us. It’s getting worse,” one officer could be heard telling the minister.
The unions are demanding a minimum prison sentence for anyone who attacks a police officer. One protest banner read: “Paid to serve, not to die.”
The protest comes after a policeman was killed during an anti-narcotics operation and a police force employee stabbed to death outside her commissariat, both within a month.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Matthieu Protard; writing by Richard Lough; editing by Estelle Shirbon)