France outrage as ‘racist’ French police black-up, eat bananas and scratch themselves like monkeys at party.
France outrage as ‘racist’ French police black-up, eat bananas and scratch themselves like monkeys at party
Officers from Paris suburb of Kremlin-Bicetre attended a fancy dress party
Blackened their faces with boot polish and ate bananas
One officer even posed as if he were scratching himself like a monkey.
Police in a Paris suburb are facing the sack after blackening up their faces with boot polish and eating bananas during a fancy dress party.
The officers, from Kremlin-Bicetre, thought pictures of the party would remain private, however the images which show them smiling with their blacked up faces and afro wigs appeared on social media, where they quickly spread.
One of the photos even shows one officer with a bunch of bananas, scratching himself if he were a monkey, with a bucket of nuts on the ground in front of him.
The pictures have caused outrage across France with anti-racism groups slamming their behaviour.
Louis-Georges Tin, president of the Conseil Represantatif des Associations Noires said: ‘If the police officers who have the responsibility to fight racism are busy making fun of black people than defending them, it could explain why things have advanced so little in this domain.’
Mr Tin has asked for a meeting with France’s top policeman, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to discuss the pictures.
He added: ‘The black people of this country don’t have to put up with racial profiling by people who dress up like this at night.’
The blacked up photo scandal comes after a string of high-profile racist taunts directed at France’s black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira.
In November 2013, far-right weekly magazine Minute published a cover page with the headline ‘Crafty as a monkey, Taubira gets her banana back’.
The images were reported to the authorities by Claudy Siar, the former ministerial delegate charged with ensuring equality of opportunity for the population of France’s overseas territories.
“Someone I know told me of the existence of these photos on the Facebook account of one of her friends,” Siar told BFM TV.
“In my presence, she called this friend and told them she was shocked. The friend was taken by surprise and tried to play down what had happened, saying that they were just having fun with friends in private and that it was a ‘negro party’.
“She immediately took down the photos but there were screen grabs that had already been taken.”
Several anti-racism organisations have officially complained about the photographs, among them the Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires. Its president, Louis-Georges Tin, said: “If the police whose job it is to fight racism are too busy mocking blacks to defend them, it could be a good explanation as to why things aren’t improving in this area.”
He added that if the photographs were real they were a “terrible shame on the national police”.
The police’s internal complaints authority has opened an inquiry into the accusations and will interview officers based in Kremlin-Bicêtre, Paris.
Last year a policeman in the Val-d’Oise region outside Paris was found by the Copwatch website to have posted a series of xenophobic statements on social networking sites.
Another officer in Trappes, in the Yvelines department outside Paris, posted images deemed Islamophobic after he had been involved in stopping a woman in the street for wearing a veil – an incident which caused three nights of rioting in the area.
Last November, the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, suffered racist insults including being described as a monkey on a magazine cover which showed her smiling under the headline suggesting she had her “banana back”, a play on the French term banane, signifying a broad smile.
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