Among other things, the organizations are calling for an end to the longstanding practice of measuring police performance by the number of tickets issued or arrests, arguing that the benchmarks can lead to baseless identity checks.
The lawsuit includes around 50 witnesses, both police officers and people who have been tampered with and whose accounts are listed in the letters of notice. The NGOs quote an unnamed person who spoke of being subjected to several police checks every day for years.
A police officer stationed in a troubled suburb of Paris and unrelated to the case told the AP that he often undergoes civilian ID checks while wearing civilian clothes.
“If I am not wearing a uniform, I am a colored person,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous in accordance with police rules and due to the sensitivity of the issue. The police need a legal basis for their actions, “but 80% of the time they check (based on) the heads” – which means what a person looks like.
Omer Mas Capitolin, the head of the Community House for Supportive Development, a grassroots NGO involved in legal action, called it a “mechanical reflex” for French police to stop non-whites, a practice he believes is being reviewed Person harms and ultimately to the relationships between officials and the members of the public they are designed to protect.
“Keeping you screened will decrease your self-esteem,” and you will become a “second-class citizen,” said Mas Capitolin. The “victims are afraid to lodge complaints in this country even if they know what happened is abnormal,” he said, because they fear being affected by the neighborhood police.