A video of police officers dancing the Macarena inside a station in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers in Seine-Saint-Denis has caused a stink in France, which is currently subject to a strict night time curfew.
The regional police authority has launched an investigation into the event, which occurred in a public office, post curfew hours and without respect for general Covid-19 health rules such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
En plein couvre-feu, ce commissariat a tenu un pot de départ, sans masque, sans distanciation sociale, alors que ces rassemblements sont interdits.
Bienvenue au commissariat d'Aubervilliers en Seine-Saint-Denis. pic.twitter.com/ToApjj2on9
— Loopsider (@Loopsidernews) January 27, 2021
“An administrative investigation is being carried out and administrative sanctions will be taken against the participants,” the Paris police préfecture said in a tweet.
Un pot de départ a été organisé au commissariat d'Aubervilliers alors qu'un couvre feu est en vigueur et sans aucun respect des mesures de distanciation sociale.
Une enquête administrative est diligentée et des sanctions administratives seront prises à l'encontre des participants pic.twitter.com/cRiOdgpV7j
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) January 27, 2021
But the video, first released by the site Loopsider, quickly made a buzz on Twitter, with many denouncing the double standards of those meant to ensure general compliance with the nation's health rules.
France's nationwide curfew begins at 6pm and effectively bans any kind of party or gathering after that time. The police have had the task of ensuring the strict rules are enforced.
Thousands of fines have been handed out to those who found to have flouted the rules, including to the organisers of illegal parties.
While it is not illegal work after the curfew enters into effect, anyone staying later than 6pm needs a valid attestation form from their employer to show police in the event of checks.
The occasion for the party was a pot de départ, the French term for a “leaving drink”, according to Loopsider.
When asked if it was possible to organise leaving parties, a police officer at the station in question told Loopsider “it's forbidden.”
“We don't do moments of conviviality,” they said, adding that the employees practiced a strict respect of the general health recommendations at all times, just like the rest of the general population.
“Just because we're a police station it doesn't mean that there's a difference between us and the rest of the population,” they said.
However many viewers of the video will not believe the sincerity of that statement.
Summing up much of the reaction on Twitter one viewer said: “The problem is not that they party, the problem is that they are the ones enforcing the rules, banning others from doing the same by issuing fines. There is selfishness here.”
Another added: “What an example to set! They have no more credibility.”