PARIS (AP) – The French prime minister proposes tougher and faster penalties for those who attack police, as the government pays national tribute to the last policeman killed in the line of duty.
Prime Minister Jean Castex will lead Tuesday’s ceremony in the southern city of Avignon in honor of Officer Eric Masson, who was killed last week in an apparent drug-related incident. Four people were arrested in connection with the homicide investigation, the regional prosecutor said.
It was the latest of several attacks on French police that angered police unions and became a political issue ahead of the regional elections in June and the French presidential election next year. Police and local residents rallied in a large protest Sunday in Avignon to demand tougher security policies and unions are planning protests across the country next week.
Castex met with police officials on Monday in an attempt to calm tensions and pledged his “full support” to the security officers. He said the government will come up with new legislation strengthening punishment for those who target police or resist arrest, and faster prosecutions.
He also pledged 10 million euros ($ 12 million) in funding to boost security at police stations, after a police administrative official was killed in his police station in the Paris suburb of Rambouillet. last month in what authorities are calling an Islamic extremist attack.
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