Immobilization techniques where the police exert pressure on their knees on the lying suspects, as the police did in the case of Floyd, have been used in policing worldwide and have long been subject to criticism. French lawmakers have called for a ban on such practices.
Castaner spoke out as the country’s government comes under increasing pressure to combat brutality and racism in the police force. France has seen several protests over the past week sparked by the death of Floyd last month, which has sparked anger at racism and police brutality around the world.
The Interior Minister said the move was not only a reaction to recent events, but came after months of work by the police procedures committee.
He added that tougher sanctions would be applied to cases of racism in the police force, according to which disciplinary procedures such as suspensions would be followed by criminal proceedings. Castaner called racism “abject evil” which has no place in French society.
Three days after Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, another black man twisted on the tarmac on a street in Paris when a police officer pressed his knee to the neck during an arrest.