French police have allegedly refused to arrest an individual in the city of La Rochelle, fearing that accusations of racism could get them sacked or the arrest could spark fresh riots.
The incident took place on Tuesday evening when a young cyclist shouted “ACAB”, an acronym for “all cops are bastards”, at a police patrol several times.
When the police turned around to confront the young man he unleashed a torrent of insults on them, but the youth was eventually, politely, let go.
The reason the young man was not arrested, according to a report from newspaper Valeurs Actuelles, was that the police feared being labelled racist or that an arrest could spark fresh riots in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in France and across the globe.
Officers are also allegedly concerned that accusations of racism could see them lose their jobs. The fears were sparked by French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner stating on Monday that “a suspension must be systematically considered for each proven suspicion of a racist act or speech” made by police.