Macron "very shocked" by images of French police beating Black man

French President Emmanuel Macron is "very shocked" by images showing Paris police beating up a Black music producer, a government source said on Friday. French prosecutors are investigating the violent arrest of Michel Zecler, who said he was also racially abused by the officers, after CCTV footage of the incident was released.

Reuters | Paris | Updated: 27-11-2020 22:46 IST | Created: 27-11-2020 22:45 IST
Macron "very shocked" by images of French police beating Black man
Representative Image. Image Credit: IANS

French President Emmanuel Macron is "very shocked" by images showing Paris police beating up a Black music producer, a government source said on Friday.

French prosecutors are investigating the violent arrest of Michel Zecler, who said he was also racially abused by the officers after CCTV footage of the incident was released. The police watchdog is also investigating. Four police officers were being held for questioning as part of the investigation, the Paris Prosecutor's office said.

The beating inside the entrance of a building was captured on closed-circuit television and mobile phone footage that circulated online. The alleged attack on Zecler risks inflaming racial tension with allegations of repeated police brutality against Black and ethnic communities at the forefront of many people's minds after the death of Black American George Floyd in Minneapolis in May sparked the "BlackLivesMatter" movement.

The arrest of Zecler came amid fierce debate in France overdraft legislation that would limit journalists' ability to document French police officers at work. Dominique Sopo, President of the anti-racism group "SOS Racisme" told Reuters Zecler had been the target of a "racist attack".

"For police officers to act that way they must have a tremendous feeling of impunity. This situation is a symptom of impunity that has been going on for too long," he added. Paris police already faced criticism this week after social media photos and videos showed officers hitting protesters as they cleared out an illegal migrants campsite in a central Paris square.

The music producer told reporters he was set upon by police at his studio in Paris's 17th arrondissement on Saturday. He said he had been walking in the street without a face mask - against French COVID-19 health protocols - and, upon seeing a police car, went into his nearby studio to avoid being fined. However, he said, the police followed him inside and began to assault and racially abuse him.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France 2 television on Thursday that the officers would be punished if the alleged wrongdoing was confirmed. The prime minister's office said on Thursday it would set up an independent commission tasked with proposing a new version of the draft legislation 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 in the street for nearly nine minutes in the course of arresting him. The outrage generated by Floyd's death has resonated in France, in particular in deprived city suburbs where police often clash with youths from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The protests in Paris in June focused on unsolved cases of people dying during police operations, such as Adama Traore, who died in police detention near Paris in 2016.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

China: A savior for emerging markets or a poison pill?

... ...

Future of Urban Planning: Artificial Intelligence guiding the way

Advances in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help us understand our cities better and derive useful insights from real-time data collected through automated models....

Videos

Latest News

Khalilzad told to continue with Afghan peace talks:Blinken

The Biden Administration has asked Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as a Special US Representative for Afghan reconciliation under the previous Trump Administration, to continue with his peace talks, a top American diplomat said on Wednesday.At...

NZ, Taiwan top COVID performance ranking, US, UK languish

New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan rank the top three in a COVID Performance Index of almost 100 countries for their successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with Britain and America near the bottom of the pile.The Lowy Institute said ...

FACTBOX-Biden mobilizes the federal government to tackle climate change

U.S. President Joe Biden signed executive orders on Wednesday that aim to harness the entire federal government to combat climate change domestically and abroad, putting the issue at the core of his presidency.The orders carry out several o...

Playful panda cub makes virtual debut at National Zoo in Washington

He may be a giant panda, but for now Xiao Qi Ji is still a baby, romping with toys and snacking on sweet potato, his first solid food. The adorable cub made his debut virtually on Wednesday at the National Zoo in Washington, appearing live ...

Give Feedback