The elected official was prosecuted for “public insult to a depositary of public authority”, in this case the national police and the national gendarmerie.
The environmentalist mayor of Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine), Patrick Chaimovitch – who had compared the police to the Vichy police – was sentenced this Tuesday, July 6 to a fine of 3,000 euros by the criminal court of Nanterre. The chosen one was prosecuted for “Public insult to a depositary of public authority”, in this case the national police and the national gendarmerie.
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On July 19, 2020, during a commemoration of the Vel d’Hiv roundup in front of around thirty people, Patrick Chaimovitch – elected mayor a few days earlier – said: “The French police officers, the French gendarmes who obeyed the orders of their superiors by implementing the Vel d’Hiv roundup, and other roundups still after and elsewhere, are the ancestors of those who today, with the same zeal, hunt down migrants, undocumented migrants, those who have failed in human rights, these living beings who try to survive in destitution, alone or with their families ”.
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Relayed on social networks a few days later, his words were controversial. On July 27, 2020, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin lodged a complaint for “public insult to the national police and the national gendarmerie“, After denouncing”scandalous and unbearable words“. In a statement to AFP, also on July 27, the mayor explained “regret that his words could have caused confusion“. He also recalled his “support for the police and gendarmes who exercise the heavy republican responsibility for security in extremely difficult conditions».
“We treat the French police officers son of collaborators: is not that insulting? “
The deputy public prosecutor
The decision rendered on Tuesday July 6 follows a hearing held before the Nanterre Criminal Court on May 4. The case had been taken under advisement. During this hearing, Patrick Chaimovitch, dressed in a navy blue suit and a tie, had tried to defend himself, sometimes laboriously. “I have always spoken of the individual behavior of certain police officers and gendarmes, I have never generalized», He had explained, in total contradiction with his initial intention. The 64-year-old elected official mentioned in particular “the situation of migrants in Calais with tents destroyed by gendarmes».
«I recognize that this sentence is ambiguous. I understood that my words were badly received and I understand the anger of the police and the gendarmesHe continued. His lawyer had requested the release, considering that the injury was not characterized and invoking a “right to good faith». «His remarks were aimed at certain police officers, fortunately in the minority», His council had indicated, recalling that Patrick Chaimovitch had made applaud the police at the end of his speech of July 19.
These explanations did not convince the opposing party. “There is a generalization that is made. I have had enough of wiping our feet on the police for electoral purposes. They are modest people who work in difficult conditions“, Pleaded the lawyer of the Alliance police union, a civil party in this case. “The police were sullied by the words of the mayor of Colombes. It is indeed constituted bodies that are targeted. We come to describe the police and gendarmes as people who send migrants to death, it is unacceptable», Had supported Me Sandra Morin, who represented the State.
The deputy public prosecutor, Hervé Lollic, had mentioned to him “words that cannot be accepted», Denouncing«a generalization and an amalgam». «We justify the cop-bashing we see too often. We treat the French police officers as sons of collaborators: isn’t that insulting?“, He asked, asking for a fine of 3000 euros. His requisitions were therefore followed.
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