My impression has been that France’s response to the two weeks of rioting there has been feeble. That impression was initially confirmed by this Daily Telegraph article about the Chirac government’s prosecution of five police officers for allegedly beating a rioter. The article, titled “French police turn on Chirac as officer jailed,” begins:
After 16 nights battling urban violence by rioters, Jacques Chirac’s government is confronting angry new protests – from the police themselves.
Officers at the forefront of attempts to control the wave of riots and arson attacks across France are furious at moves to prosecute policemen accused of assaulting a youth.
As officers were deployed in force in Paris yesterday following a call on weblogs for a mass demonstration, the police union described the jailing of one officer and the suspension of others as “incomprehensible and unacceptable”.
Police officers, who have been targeted with stones, missiles and Molotov cocktails since the trouble broke out, said they were “stupefied” by the action taken against their colleagues. Alliance, the main police union, appealed to members for calm after the decision to take the first steps towards charging five police officers implicated in the assault on a youth.
Sure, I thought: they can’t go after the lawbreakers, so go after the police instead. Buried at the bottom, however, is the fact that the French judiciary has moved with astonishing promptness–by our standards, anyway–to prosecute and jail rioters:
So far, 593 adults among the 2,440 people arrested have been rushed through “fast track” hearings and 464 have been sent to jail for up to a year. A further 102 juveniles have received custodial sentences.
So maybe French justice isn’t as feeble as I thought.
Via Power Line News.
PAUL adds: The French can be pretty tough on the rare occasions when the spirit moves them.