Besançon Protest Sign Sparks Police Violence Debate

During the demonstration on September 23 in Besançon, as part of the national appeal “against police violence”, a small sign with the words “One cop, one bullet” aroused reactions of indignation. A preliminary investigation is opened.

It’s a small sign, barely the size of an A4 sheet. Two words written in black marker: “One cop, one bullet”. The cardboard is brandished by a person who does not wish to be recognized, just behind the official banner at the start of the procession, the slogan of which is far removed from the four provocative words “Extreme-right ideas are corrupting society, let us prefer fraternity” .

Of the 700 demonstrators (470 according to the Doubs prefecture), few people saw it, but we can see it in photos or videos taken at the start of the demonstration. A parade organized like in a hundred other cities in France at the call of numerous associations, unions and movements which condemn “police violence” and “systemic racism”. In Besançon, the demonstration will take place normally in the streets of the city center this Saturday, September 23 afternoon.

Around 8 p.m., Jean-François Colombet, the prefect of Doubs, published a press release condemning this sign which he considered to be “a call for the murder of police officers”.

Scandalous and unspeakable, this action is all the more so as it comes less than 48 hours after an attempted homicide of extreme and rare violence against a police officer during a check by the anti-crime brigade in Sochaux. .

Jean-François Colombet, prefect of Doubs

Without further ado, the mayor of Besançon, Anne Vignot, whose EELV party called for demonstrations, also condemns these comments even if she did not participate in this march. The communist municipal representative Hasni Alem also expressed his disagreement with the words of this sign.

Opposition elected officials from the Bisontine municipality, members of the “Besançon Now” group also reacted the day after the demonstration.

We hope that justice will take up the matter very quickly in order to punish the perpetrators of this act. This only reinforces fractures and fuels hatred towards those who protect us and our loved ones every day.

Besançon Now, municipal opposition

Le Point, Le Figaro, Valeurs Actuelles, Europe 1 relayed the information. “It’s a politically oriented excitement,” said Noëlle Ledeur (SolMiRé collective for the defense of young migrants) who was at the head of the procession.

The activist believes that this sign “does not represent the convictions of the organizations signing the appeal”. Noëlle Ledeur recalls that “it was not a question of making anti-cop slogans”.

Séverine Véziès, the leading figure of France Insoumise in Doubs, also participated in the Besançon demonstration. For her, “the demonstration is not limited” to this sign. When she saw it, the politician wondered.

Where are we so young people can write such a sentence? Obviously, I wouldn’t have written it myself. This shows that there is a problem with the government’s policing policy. Those responsible are to be found on the side of Darmanin and Macron.

Séverine Véziès, La France Insoumise

Noëlle Ledeur affirms, she would not go “to demonstrate with such a slogan”. The activist underlines the ambiguity of the sentence. “One cop, one bullet” can also mean that “a police officer is armed and he shoots.”

I think this double meaning is deliberately ambiguous and provocative. This slogan is not representative of the organizations calling for the demonstration.

Noëlle Ledeur, SolMiRé activist

The national secretary delegated to the eastern zone of the SGP Police Unit union, Stéphane Morisse, is shocked by the words on this small sign. It is indeed “playing on words so as not to be criminally attacked, but there is definitely a provocation behind these words”.

For us, this is unacceptable, we hope that the facts will be brought to justice. For us, this constitutes death threats, a real call for murder.

Stéphane Morisse, SGP Police Unit union

A preliminary investigation was opened at the Besançon police station.

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