Maggy Biskupski: France's 'angry police' leader found dead

image copyrightMaggy Biskupski / Facebook
image captionMs Biskupski was a well-known advocate for her fellow law enforcement officers

A police officer who rose to prominence combating violence against French police has been found dead.

Maggy Biskupski was found at her home in the Yvelines area west of Paris, having apparently shot herself with her service weapon.

She was the president of France's MPC, or "movement of angry police officers", set up after a Molotov cocktail attack on officers in 2016.

The high rate of police suicides has been a key part of the MPC's campaigns.

The group recorded 29 suicides of police in 2018 to the end of October – not including the alleged suicide of Ms Biskupski.

French newspaper Le Parisien reported that Ms Biskupski was found after a friend had raised concerns about her whereabouts.

She founded the MPC in 2016, after four officers were attacked with Molotov cocktails in Viry-Chatillon to the south of Paris. Two of the officers were badly injured, leading to a wave of protests by police officers over safety issues.

The fledgling MPC grew rapidly, independent of the existing police unions, spreading its message on social media.

Ms Biskupski was herself investigated by the police inspectorate because of her activism.

But she remained the group's president and was its most recognisable member, making frequent media appearances to speak about police working conditions.

France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner was among those to pay tribute to Ms Biskupski as an officer and an activist.

"Tonight our sorrow is deep," he tweeted.

"Maggy Biskupski's fight must not die out: I hear the anger of the police. And we are answering, concretely, with more staff and more resources on the ground."

Marine Le Pen, president of France's National Rally party, tweeted that Ms Biskupski's death was symbolic of the suffering which she had denounced tirelessly and made her cause. "This carnage cannot continue," she added.

Laurent Wauquiez, leader of France's Republican party, also added his voice to the praise. Ms Biskupski was a symbol who "carried the fight of those who protect us every day," he tweeted.

"We did not know how to protect her," he added.

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