PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron is “very shocked” by photos exhibiting Paris police beating up a Black music producer, a authorities supply mentioned on Friday.
French prosecutors are investigating the violent arrest of Michel Zecler, who mentioned he was additionally racially abused by the officers, after CCTV footage of the incident was launched. The police watchdog can also be investigating.
4 law enforcement officials have been being held for questioning as a part of the investigation, the Paris Prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.
The beating inside the doorway of a constructing was captured on closed circuit tv and cell phone footage which circulated on-line.
The alleged assault on Zecler dangers inflaming racial stress with allegations of repeated police brutality in opposition to Black and ethnic communities on the forefront of many individuals’s minds after the loss of life of Black American George Floyd in Minneapolis in Could sparked the “BlackLivesMatter” motion.
The arrest of Zecler got here amid fierce debate in France over draft laws that may restrict journalists’ potential to doc French law enforcement officials at work.
Dominique Sopo, President of anti-racism group “SOS Racisme” informed Reuters Zecler had been the goal of a “racist assault”.
“For law enforcement officials to behave that approach they should have an amazing feeling of impunity. This example is a symptom of an impunity that has been occurring for too lengthy,” he added.
Paris police already confronted criticism this week after social media images and movies confirmed officers hitting protesters as they cleared out an unlawful migrants campsite in a central Paris sq..
The music producer informed reporters he was set upon by police at his studio in Paris’s seventeenth arrondissement on Saturday.
He mentioned he had been strolling on the street with out a face masks – in opposition to French COVID-19 well being protocols – and, upon seeing a police automobile, went into his close by studio to keep away from being fined. Nevertheless, he mentioned, the police adopted him inside and commenced to assault and racially abuse him.
Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin informed France 2 tv on Thursday that the officers could be punished if the alleged wrongdoing was confirmed.
The prime minister’s workplace mentioned on Thursday it could arrange an impartial fee tasked with proposing a brand new model of the draft laws in response to protests and complaints from free expression advocates.
“BlackLivesMatter” protests broke out in Paris in June following the killing of George Floyd, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck on the street for practically 9 minutes in the midst of arresting him.
The outrage generated by Floyd’s loss of life has resonated in France, particularly in disadvantaged metropolis suburbs the place police typically conflict with youths from ethnic minority backgrounds.
The protests in Paris in June centered on unsolved circumstances of individuals dying throughout police operations, resembling Adama Traore, who died in police detention close to Paris in 2016.
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