Two weeks after the murder of Brigadier Eric Masson in Avignon, the emotion has not fallen back into the ranks of police officers.
Thousands of them are to gather on Wednesday in front of the National Assembly at the call of the unions, who want more severity for the "attackers of the police".
All the police unions called on "citizens" to come "support" them during the rally scheduled from 1 pm to 3 pm.
While security has become a campaign theme a few weeks before the Regionals and one year before the presidential election, a wide spectrum of elected officials should be present, from Republicans to the National Rally, including the Socialist Party and the Communist Party ( PCF).
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin must also come to “greet” the police, said his entourage.
“Angry” and “disgusted” police officers
The unions decided to organize this rally after the murder of Eric Masson, killed at a deal point in Avignon on May 5. A drama that shook the police, already marked by the assassination on April 23 of Stéphanie Monfeture, administrative agent at the Rambouillet police station (Yvelines), by a Tunisian who would have become radicalized.
According to union officials, many “angry” and “disgusted” police officers see the death of the sergeant during this banal intervention as a symbol of repeated violence against them which requires a firmer “criminal response”. "Every evening, the police are caught in ambush or victims of projectile throwing", assures Grégory Joron of SGP-FO Unit, for whom justice "does not use the right tools", by "decriminalizing" some offenses such as ambush, for which the penalties incurred are however significant.
In 2019, 11,217 police officers and gendarmes were injured on mission against 9,961 in 2017, according to the Ministry of the Interior.
Figures, which do not detail the number of injuries caused by an assault or by an accident and which run over the period of the yellow vests demonstrations.
In 2020, a year considered special due to confinements, 8,719 police officers were injured on mission.
Extended safety period and reduced sentence reductions
After Avignon, the government quickly gave pledges to the unions, received on May 10 in Matignon.
Prime Minister Jean Castex has notably committed to extending the safety period to thirty years for people sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime against a police officer or a gendarme.
And to strictly limit the possibilities of reducing sentences for those who attack the police.
But the unions deplore that their "most important demand", "the implementation of minimum sentences for attackers of the police", has not been "taken into account".
For Fabien Vanhemelryck, General Secretary of the Alliance union, minimum sentences (also called floor sentences) are "the only solution to stop impunity and insecurity".
"The Gordian knot is not the increase in the quantum of the penalty, but the application of existing penalties, in particular for everything that is at the bottom of the spectrum, that is to say everyday attacks" , also considers Patrice Ribeiro, General Secretary of Synergie Officiers. "This is where the feeling of impunity is created and nourished," he said.
A request not retained by the executive, which "perhaps anticipates the difficulty" of adopting a measure "constitutionally flawed and which will have no effect", estimates Mathieu Zagrodzki, associate researcher at the Research Center sociological studies on law and penal institutions (Cesdip). He recalls that the minimum penalties, put in place under Nicolas Sarkozy and repealed under his successor François Hollande in 2014, had been "relatively little implemented", the judges being able to waive them.