pushing back on proposals to reform their methods, such as banning chokeholds, and to open themselves up to greater scrutiny for racism. Police unions also recently broke off monthslong talks with the government on potential reforms.

Controversies over deadly and brutal police interventions sparked widespread protests against the police last year. A contentious security law empowering the police drew thousands of protesters to the street as video footage revealed the brutal beating of a Black music producer, Michel Zecler, inside his own Paris studio by officers.

recent poll showed that 27 percent of respondents said they regarded the police with “anxiety’’ or “hostility.’’

“The police play a very strong role in protecting the political regime in France,” Mr. Jobard, the police expert said, adding that they often “feel that politicians are using them as a firewall, as a shield.”

Despite the intensifying debate on insecurity, crime in France rose in the 1970s through the mid-1980s before declining and stabilizing. Government data show that nearly all major crimes are now lower than they were a decade or three years ago.

France’s per capita homicide rate — 1.16 per 100,000 people in 2018 — was about the same as most parts of Britain, according to data from the European Commission, while Germany’s rate was 0.76. France’s rate was far lower than that of the United States, which was five per 100,000 people in 2018, according to F.B.I. data.

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Colombia Protests: Police Force, Built for War, Finds a New One

At the time, the government hoped to professionalize and depoliticize the job by consolidating a fragmented system into a national force, said Juan Carlos Ruíz, a professor and security expert at Colombia’s Universidad del Rosario.

By the 2000s, the police had become a critical player in a counterinsurgency strategy aimed at rooting out the FARC, in which the military cleared rebels from territory and the police held that ground. The strategy worked, forcing the rebels to negotiate. And it earned the police “very high levels of citizen trust,” said Paul Angelo, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

But since the peace deal, little has changed within the police department.

Juan Manuel Santos, who was president when the deal was signed, had long supported moving the police out of the defense ministry. But the idea had been unpopular with the armed forces, in part because the police bring money and manpower into the ministry, Mr. Angelo said. By the time Mr. Santos had signed the peace deal, he had little time left in office, and even less political capital. The change was never made.

Now, police reform advocates are again pushing to move the 140,000-officer force from the defense department into the interior ministry — and to prioritize human rights training, limit weaponry, and try officers who commit crimes in ordinary courts instead of military ones.

In an interview, the head of the national police, Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas, said he had presented a reform plan to the country earlier this year. But the police should not be moved out of the defense ministry, he said.

“The situation of drug trafficking and illegal groups at this time does not allow it,” he said, calling these issues “the main problem in Colombia.”

The protests began in late April, when Mr. Duque proposed a tax overhaul meant to help close a fiscal hole exacerbated by the pandemic. Already, the country was on edge: After a year of Covid-related restrictions, the outbreak was only getting worse, along with poverty, inequality and joblessness.

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Colombia’s Police Force, Built for War, Finds a New One

At the time, the government hoped to professionalize and depoliticize the job by consolidating a fragmented system into a national force, said Juan Carlos Ruíz, a professor and security expert at Colombia’s Universidad del Rosario.

By the 2000s, the police had become a critical player in a counterinsurgency strategy aimed at rooting out the FARC, in which the military cleared rebels from territory and the police held that ground. The strategy worked, forcing the rebels to negotiate. And it earned the police “very high levels of citizen trust,” said Paul Angelo, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

But since the peace deal, little has changed within the police department.

Juan Manuel Santos, who was president when the deal was signed, had long supported moving the police out of the defense ministry. But the idea had been unpopular with the armed forces, in part because the police bring money and manpower into the ministry, Mr. Angelo said. By the time Mr. Santos had signed the peace deal, he had little time left in office, and even less political capital. The change was never made.

Now, police reform advocates are again pushing to move the 140,000-officer force from the defense department into the interior ministry — and to prioritize human rights training, limit weaponry, and try officers who commit crimes in ordinary courts instead of military ones.

In an interview, the head of the national police, Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas, said he had presented a reform plan to the country earlier this year. But the police should not be moved out of the defense ministry, he said.

“The situation of drug trafficking and illegal groups at this time does not allow it,” he said, calling these issues “the main problem in Colombia.”

The protests began in late April, when Mr. Duque proposed a tax overhaul meant to help close a fiscal hole exacerbated by the pandemic. Already, the country was on edge: After a year of Covid-related restrictions, the outbreak was only getting worse, along with poverty, inequality and joblessness.

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A Bipartisan Schools Movement

Over the past decade, an idea has become popular with mayors and governors, both Democratic and Republican: A K-12 education is no longer enough.

Students should start school earlier than kindergarten, according to this view, both to help families with child care and to provide children with early learning. And students should stay in school beyond high school, because decent-paying jobs in today’s economy typically require either a college degree or vocational training.

In response, many states and cities have expanded education on at least one end of K-12. Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Vermont and West Virginia have something approaching universal pre-K. Arkansas, Indiana, New Jersey and more than a dozen other states have tuition-free community college. These expansions appeal to liberals’ desire to use government for helping people and conservatives’ preference for expanding the economic pie rather than redistributing wealth.

told Politico, “and the question is, ‘What are we going to do about it?’”

to lay out his agenda, and an expansion of federal funding for pre-K and community college will be a central part of it. Despite the recent gains, both pre-K and community college remain far from universal. And Biden’s proposal is an example of how he is trying to define bipartisanship during a time when congressional Republicans are often unwilling to support almost any new federal policy.

I realize that may sound like a sweeping statement about the Republican Party, but I think the facts justify it. Consider the past decade:

Biden is hoping he has found one exception — infrastructure. A handful of congressional Republicans have proposed a plan for new roads and other infrastructure that is much smaller than Biden’s yet a possible basis for negotiations. Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, told a group of columnists this week that he considered the offer serious and “a step in the right direction.”

On many other issues, though, there is no sign that congressional Republicans are open to compromise with Biden. Their political strategy, as Senator Mitch McConnell famously described in 2010, is to make a Democratic president look partisan and try to win the next election.

incorrectly — that adequate funding ensures high quality. If the two parties were negotiating over a bill, it might include a mix of both sides’ best ideas.

Instead, congressional Republicans have walked away from substantive legislative talks, in education and several other major policy areas. Biden does not have a magical ability to change that. But it is not a sign of a healthy democracy.

More on Biden’s speech:

Some people are not pleased.

Lives Lived: Ole Anthony went dumpster diving to find incriminating evidence about televangelists. What he found took down ministries and sent a preacher to jail. He died at 82.

Black History, Continued — a Times project about significant moments and figures in Black culture — is about superheroes. Why? “Superheroes gave us an opportunity to look at this thing that will keep coming back through the year, which is, what is a Black hero and what do heroes mean in Black history?” Veronica Chambers, who spearheaded the project, said.

A new generation of writers is placing Black heroes at the center of big-budget films and TV shows, including “Black Panther” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” Black creators are also reinterpreting well-worn superhero narratives. The writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is working on a Superman screenplay that many believe will include a Black version of the character.

Though the story lines are fantastical, the works often contain parallels to real-life experiences: In a recent adaptation of the DC Comics character Nubia, for instance, the police profile and detain her as she tries to save the day. There’s also a graphic novel series — “Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer” — that reimagines the abolitionist as a katana-wielding warrior.

Read Veronica’s essay here. — Sanam Yar, Morning writer

Read The Times’s review.

The hosts discussed masks.

play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “My Fair Lady” lady (five letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. A hidden haiku from our colleague Claire Cain Miller’s conversations with girls about how the Trump presidency shaped their politics: “Maybe I’ll try to / catch up with them again in / 2024.”

You can see today’s print front page here.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about India. On “The Argument,” a debate about police reform. And on “Popcast,” why the sing-rap generation is thriving.

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After Sarah Everard’s Killing, Women’s Groups Want Change, Not More Policing

Late Thursday night, Sisters Uncut, a provocative feminist organization that has emerged as a leader of the most forceful protests in Britain’s growing national movement around women’s safety, declared a small victory.

“We’ve delayed the #PoliceCrackdownBill,” the group announced on Twitter. “This is a victory, but we will not stop.”

The announcement was just the latest evidence that this movement differs from past campaigns that opposed violence against women in general terms but that rarely made sweeping demands.

Women are furious not just about the death of Sarah Everard, 33, in London — a police officer has been charged in her kidnapping and killing — but about what they see as a heavy-handed and misogynist response from the police afterward. They are directing their anger at law enforcement and the justice system, and pushing to scrap a proposed police and crime bill, which would create sweeping new restrictions on protests and grant broad new powers to the police.

the arrest of a police officer over her killing, have led many to conclude that the police are an active threat. Women’s safety and freedom, they argue, can come only from much deeper social changes — and any policy change in response to Ms. Everard’s death should focus on those.

Margaret Atwood famously said that there was nothing in her novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” that did not happen to women somewhere, at some point in history. That is often treated as evidence of in-depth sourcing, but in fact it is the force behind the novel’s visceral central horror: that any protection women might think would be offered by democracy, education, wealth or race can all too easily disappear in an instant.

For many women in Britain, Ms. Everard’s killing and the police’s violent dispersal of a London vigil in her memory have triggered a similar horror, on a less dystopian scale, about how unprotected they truly are. It has become a moment, too, to reflect on the suffering of women of color, and other groups targeted for abuse, that has long been ignored.

promised new actions to improve women’s safety: more CCTV cameras, better street lighting, and plainclothes police in bars and clubs to watch for attacks on female patrons. And it campaigned for more support for the police and crime bill, which would grant sweeping new powers to police departments across the country.

All those responses seemed grounded in the theory that women felt unsafe because there were not enough police, with enough power, in enough places.

the police action in Clapham last weekend was against one protest. But statistics tell a story of many more widespread failures.

From 2019 to 2020, less than 3 percent of rapes reported to the police were prosecuted, according to government statistics. And if unreported cases are taken into account, the real prosecution rate is even lower.

“Rape has been decriminalized, frankly,” said Emily Gray, a lecturer at Derby University who studies policing.

A 2019 report by the British newspaper The Independent found that 568 London police officers were accused of sexual assault between 2012 and 2018, but only 43 faced disciplinary proceedings. And from April 2015 to April 2018, there were at least 700 reports of domestic violence by police officers and police staff, according to documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists from 37 of Britain’s 48 police forces.

Opponents of the police and crime bill, which would grant the police wide-ranging power to shut down protests, argue that it would make scenes like the one on Clapham Common more frequent, and would not stop the most prevalent forms of violence against women.

“Violence against women usually comes from a power imbalance,” Dr. Gray said. One reason the police bill is being attacked, she said, is that “it doesn’t do anything about that at all.”

So what are the alternatives? Different groups tend to focus on different remedies.

Sisters Uncut, which was founded in 2014 in response to government austerity measures that slashed funding for women’s shelters and other help for women at risk, has long demanded that such services be reinstated.

Perpetrator programs, which work intensively with abusive men to prevent them from attacking their partners, have shown some promise in cases where the abusers are committed to change, said Dr. Westmarland, who has studied them.

“The physical and sexual abuse reduced quite substantially and in some cases was eliminated altogether,” she said. But she noted that the programs had not been effective at reducing coercive control — the domineering emotional abuse that is the hallmark of domestic violence and that is deeply traumatic in its own right.

One belief that cuts across nearly all the groups involved — including mainstream ones like the Women’s Institute, the largest women’s organization in the country — is that education must be a centerpiece of any change.

Such education could be “a real shot at prevention, and shaping some of the prevalent attitudes that greatly hurt girls and women, as well as nonbinary people, in our society,” said Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University and the author of two books on the ways sexism shapes society, said in an interview.

But while education might sound like the kind of anodyne concept that anyone could support, Dr. Manne said via text message that she believed it would actually be quietly radical for education to address the politically charged issues of misogyny, male privilege and male responsibility for ending male violence.

“Can you imagine if sex education became political?” she asked. “Sigh. It’s my dream, though.”

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