A racism row erupts in France after pictures emerge of police officers with their faces painted black and making monkey gestures at a party.

French police blackface party

France's general inspectorate for the national police force has launched an investigation into the nature of the party after the pictures were reported to have been taken from the Facebook account of one of the officers.

The officers are said to be from the Kremlin-Bicêtre force, in southern Paris.

The photos were leaked by Claudy Siar who said he was doing his "duty as a citizen and an activist". Posting on Facebook, Mr Siar said: "The behavior of these custodians of the public force is unacceptable! And the pretext of private party is not admissible."

Several race organisations have complained about the images, including France's Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires (Cran).

French police officer making monkey gesture

Cran said the French police force needs to seek an explanation "without delay" and, if the facts are confirmed, fire the officers involved immediately. It also called for more equality education.

Cran President Louis-Georges Tin said the images raise concerns that "police who are responsible for the fight against racism are busier making fun of blacks than defending them."

The pictures were leaked on 2 June, and it is understood that French police opened an investigation into the incident on the 3 June.

It is not the first time French police have been accused of racist behaviour on social networks. In 2013 a policewoman in Val-d’Oise was revealed to have posted xenophobic comments on a public account, and another in Trappes was reported to have revealed an Islamophobic image.

French police blackface party

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