After 16 nights battling urban violence by rioters, Jacques Chirac's government is confronting angry new protests - from the police themselves.
Officers at the forefront of attempts to control the wave of riots and arson attacks across France are furious at moves to prosecute policemen accused of assaulting a youth.
As officers were deployed in force in Paris yesterday following a call on weblogs for a mass demonstration, the police union described the jailing of one officer and the suspension of others as "incomprehensible and unacceptable".
Police officers, who have been targeted with stones, missiles and Molotov cocktails since the trouble broke out, said they were "stupefied" by the action taken against their colleagues. Alliance, the main police union, appealed to members for calm after the decision to take the first steps towards charging five police officers implicated in the assault on a youth.
This is no way to tackle the problem, Jacques.