The Court of Appeal rendered its decision on Thursday concerning seven police officers of the BAC de nuit de Nancy for harassment and racist insults towards colleagues. If one of them was acquitted of the facts of moral harassment, the other six received sentences ranging from six months in prison to four months suspended, according to information from France Bleu Sud Lorraine.
Initially given suspended prison sentences of 6 to 18 months, the seven defendants were accused of denigrating a former colleague because of her Maghreb origins, as well as a policewoman because she was a woman. They also enforced their own law within the service, including by twice ousting their superior. They had appealed the ruling after appearing at first instance in March 2022.
Prohibition from holding public office
The sentences handed down on Thursday are heavier than those required at the appeal hearing on March 24: the prosecutor's office had asked for sentences ranging from four months to two years of suspended imprisonment.
The policeman considered the "pack leader" was the most heavily punished, sentenced to 24 months in prison, 18 months of which were suspended. "For this sentence, the six months firm may be adjustable," said the president of the Court of Appeal, Vincent Totaro. This police officer is also prohibited from holding public office permanently. His colleagues, who received suspended sentences, were also banned from practising for periods ranging from one to five years. For non-public insults, several of them were fined ranging from €500 to €2,700.
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In total, the Court of Appeal ordered the officers to pay jointly and severally to their four colleagues found victims more than 70,000 euros in damages and injury to physical and moral integrity. The policeman, "pack leader" and the most heavily sanctioned, will have to pay 50,000 euros alone. They have five days to appeal to the Court of Cassation.
A report by the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) had revealed an organized "system of harassment" and the "uninhibited racism" that had reigned for years within this service where a small group of police officers operated according to "a pack logic". They had been referred to court for psychological harassment at work and non-public racial abuse against four of their colleagues, three men and one woman.