with quite as much caution as police, State Troopers or the National Guard in the USA,
or, indeed, the Revolutionary Guard in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On the third of January this year, Cédric Chouviat, a courier on a scooter
was stopped by French police, thrown to the ground, throttled,
and passed out, shouting "I can't breathe!". (J'étouffe!)
Two days later he died. [read more]
Show annoyance, anger, outrage or contempt for such bullies
and you will probably not be beaten up, but will end up in court,
receiving a 3-month prison sentence (suspended for five years),
and very likely personal damages to the gendarme you annoyed
- for to annoy a gendarme is Verbal Assault as well as a Crime against the State.
For calling a gendarme un con (an asshole)
when he gave me twenty minutes' petty, xenophobic grief,
I had to pay him six hundred euros 'compensation'
on top of the mandatory suspended sentence
- plus administrative costs. But my obligatory,
charming, and quite useless advocate came free
because of my considered poverty.