Identification of police officers: the Council of State seized
It was together that they decided to act for the respect of the rule of law. The League for Human Rights (LDH), Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (Acat), the Syndicate of the Judiciary (SM) and the Syndicate of Lawyers of France (SAF) have just filed a request before the Council of State for the agents of the public force to no longer be able to commit tortious or criminal violence without any prosecution being brought against them. Indeed, contrary to what is provided for in article R. 434-15 of the Internal Security Code since a decree of December 4, 2013, all police officers and gendarmes do not respect the visible wearing of a number. administrative registration, the RIO. This failure, never penalized to date, has been noted on many occasions, as evidenced by Jérôme Graefe, member of the Paris Observatory of Public Liberties: “In the more than 70 demonstrations that we have followed since 2019, the RIO is either totally absent or hidden by the equipment of the agents, who, moreover, frequently hide their faces illegally under a balaclava or a full-face helmet. And even when it is worn correctly, the RIO is very difficult to read and memorize because it has 7 figures on a strip of 4.5 x 1.7 cm. These findings are shared and denounced in reports from other organizations such as Acat and the Defender of Rights. »
Complaints closed without follow-up
This lack of identification is not without consequences for the victims of police violence. « Our brutalized or mutilated clients are particularly affected to see the burden of proof shifted to them for what they have experienced and to see that the investigations are unsuccessful due to the lack of determination of the investigators to identify their attackers », explains Chloé Chalot, lawyer, member of the SAF. She also deplores the systemic nature of the invisibilization of police violence not only due to the absence of RIO, but also to “the disappearance of the CCTV images and the esprit de corps of the police, which produces testimonies that reveal very little of the reality of the facts”. So many elements that contribute to impunity for the perpetrators of violence. » Non-compliance with the legal framework for the intervention of the police affects justice, confirms Kim Reuflet, president of the SM. Complaints from citizens who are victims of illegal violence by the security forces are most often dismissed because they cannot identify the police or gendarmes who committed them. This flaw in the organization of the police, which tolerates the non-wearing of the RIO, reflects on the justice system which loses its authority, not being able to investigate and judge the depositaries of the authority p public. This leads to a loss of public confidence in the judicial institution. »
It is to put an end to this that the four organizations are calling for the compulsory wearing of a RIO visible from several meters and disciplinary sanctions for agents who refuse to do so. . The stakes are high, insists Patrick Baudouin, the president of the LDH, it is a question of“restore trust between the police and citizens”.