PARIS — A lawyer who claims French police carried out unjustified identity checks on 13 black and Arab men based only on their racial profiles has brought the cases before the highest French court for the first time.
Lawyer Thomas Lyon-Caen told the Cour de Cassation Tuesday the ID checks violated the basic rights of his clients and were discriminatory because a democratic state cannot “link delinquency to skin color.”
Lyon-Caen said the top court’s ruling, expected on Nov. 9, “will make history.”
A prosecutor asked the supreme judges to declare only eight of the 13 cases illegal. He said the remaining five appear valid because the checks were based on “objective elements” and therefore not discriminatory.
Activist groups hope the decision will end what they call routine discrimination by police against minorities.
This story has been corrected from an earlier version to state that prosecutor asked for only eight of 13 cases to be declared illegal.