On 24 June 2020, the Professional Association of Vaud Police (APGV) announced that it rejects recent accusations of racism and violence and deplores the lack of public support from politicians.
The association, which represents members of the canton’s police force, is upset that some are crudely assuming that policing in Vaud is the same as policing in the United States.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the United States in May 2020, protests against racism and police violence have spread around the world. Several thousand protesters took to the streets of Lausanne on 7 June 2020, with signs and chants similar to the Black Lives Matter protests in the US.
The APGV thinks the parallels being drawn between the US and Vaud are unjustified. In a communique it says that it formally condemns all forms of racism and violence and only uses force when it has no other choice.
In the photo above a sign is held upside down to symbolise a world turned upside down. In 2019, there were 3,251 cases of violence towards the police in Vaud spread across a force of 18,802 officers.
Isolated cases of police violence exist, said Sébastien Baumgartner of the APGV. However, there is a process for reporting these cases, he said, with sanctions that go as far as firing.
The canton’s police force has been far busier than normal due to the demands of the pandemic and recent protests. However, the authorities and politicians have remained silent and failed to support the police in the face of these false accusations, laments Baumgartner. He would like the government to show some public support for the police force in the face of the recent accusations. “False accusations also harm those in uniform” he said.