Curfew-breaking party at Paris police station causes uproar in France

Curfew-breaking party at Paris police station causes uproar in France
French police officers. Illustration photo: AFP
An investigation has been launched by authorities in France after officers and staff at a Paris areas police station were caught on video dancing and partying until 3am, without a face mask in sight, despite the nationwide curfew and strict social distancing rules.

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.

 

“An administrative investigation is being carried out and administrative sanctions will be taken against the participants,” the Paris police préfecture said in a tweet.

 

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.”

 


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