PARIS — The French Parliament passed a contentious security bill on Thursday that extends police powers, despite criticism from political opponents and civil rights activists who have vowed to challenge the legislation before France’s Constitutional Council.
Among other measures, the bill broadens the powers of municipal police forces, expands the police’s ability to use drones to monitor citizens in public and toughens sentences for people found guilty of assaulting officers. One of the most arduously debated measures criminalizes the act of helping identify officers with intent to harm them.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government has argued that the bill provides a necessary boost to embattled police forces and protects them from increasingly violent protesters and malicious attempts to identify them or their families, off and online.
But critics — including the French journalist unions, civil liberties groups and the authorities’ own human rights ombudsman — say the legislation is too broad.
Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation to ensure it complies with the French Constitution and could strike down parts of the bill.
Opposition to the bill sparked large protests last fall and was fueled by several widely publicized instances of police brutality, especially the beating of a Black music producer in Paris that was caught on security camera in November.
While the protests put pressure on the government to rewrite a provision on sharing images of the police, it refused to heed calls from opponents to scrap the entire bill.
the Interior minister who championed the bill, told lawmakers on Thursday that it would be France’s “shame” if it failed to prevent people with malicious intent from publicly spreading identifying information or pictures of security forces.
“Police officers and gendarmes are children of the Republic, and they must be protected because they protect us every day,” Mr. Darmanin said.