Paris police accused of breaking curfew after Macarena at party

Officials are investigating claims Paris police broke Covid-19 and curfew rules by staging a leaving party for a colleague at which they danced the Macarena inside a police station.

Videos of the event appear to show police officers and other station staff celebrating and dancing until 3am. None were wearing a mask, there was little social distancing and the party broke the 6pm to 6am nationwide curfew.

Officers are seen singing and dancing the Macarena inside the police station at Aubervilliers in the Seine-Saint-Denis suburb. The regional police authority has launched an investigation.

A statement tweeted by the Prefecture de Police read: “A leaving party was organised at the Aubervilliers commissariat when there was a curfew in force and without any respect for the social-distancing measures. An administrative inquiry is being conducted and administrative sanctions will be taken against the participants.”

The video was released by the website Loopsider, which also published film of three French police officers beating and allegedly racially abusing a music producer in his Paris studio in November.

Loopsider claimed the party had taken place on 22 January; the faces are blurred but the film shows men and women dancing, eating and drinking in an off-duty room meant to contain a maximum of six people during the Covid health crisis, Loopsider said.

The 12-hour overnight curfew rules, which came into effect almost two weeks ago, ban any parties or social gatherings after 6pm. It is not illegal to work, but anyone outsidehome after 6pm must carry a sworn declaration giving one of a limited number of permitted reasons to be out, and a letter from their employee if the reason is connected to their work.

The fine is €135 (£120) for the first offence, €200 for a second offence, rising to a maximum of €3,750 and a six-month jail term for three offences within 30 days.
Bars, cafes and restaurants have been closed along with cinemas, theatres, discos and nightclubs since the end of October.

French police have been active in breaking up an increasing number of illegal parties and raves during the curfew and arresting the organisers. Participants have been fined €135 each while organisers have been fined several thousand euros with some facing trial.

Local police chiefs said they have demanded an explanation for those who attended the Aubervilliers party.

The mayor of Aubervilliers, Karine Franclet, told France Bleu radio she was furious.

“From a health point of view it’s irresponsible. We’re battling to have a vaccination centre, to give children school meals, while respecting all the health rules so they can continue despite the virus, while things like this happen. How is that possible?”


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