FRANCECCTV footage showing a man taking punches and kicks from three policemen for minutes on end is causing consternation in France. The man was beaten in the Parisian 17th arrondissement for not wearing his mouth mask. The officers were also guilty of racist accusations. The agents have been suspended, the French Minister of the Interior is requesting their resignation.
Online medium Loopsider released the images. They date from Saturday, November 21. That evening Michel went to his recording studio. The man with African roots runs his own music production company. The three officers saw him walking without a mask and followed him. Mouth mask is mandatory in the French capital. Once Michel opened his front door, they pushed him against the wall. A violation, because the man was no longer on the public road.
Michel didn’t know what was happening to him. He even thought he was dealing with fake agents. One of the officers was wearing civilian clothes. While one cop held Michel down, the other two boxed and pounded him for minutes. Loopsider has shortened the images.
“Dirty n * ger”
One of the officers even took out his baton. They repeatedly called him “dirty n * ger”. Michel’s friends working in the basement in the music studio heard the uproar and rushed upstairs. They eventually managed to evict the agents from the house. Minutes later police reinforcements showed up.
On the security camera in the hallway you can see Michel trying to barricade the front door. Neighbors filmed the intervention from their balcony. The officers managed to throw in a tear gas canister. “I thought my last hour had struck,” says a severely battered Michel in the video that has been on YouTube for several hours.
Once inside, Michel was hit again. Those present were shackled violently.
“Without those images I was still in prison today”
A police spokesperson told BFMTV that Michel was behaving rebelliously and tried to steal the officers’ weapons. Something inconsistent with the surveillance camera images. “Without those images I was still in prison today.” Once arrested, Michel is effectively detained for 48 hours. He will not be charged. Back at large, he has his injuries diagnosed by a doctor. Michel is unfit for work for at least six days.
Police inspection body IGPN has started an investigation into the intervention. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced via Twitter that he has asked the police prefect to suspend the three preventively and also asks for the three to be dismissed.
Net Darmanin is co-initiator of a controversial law that limits the recognizable filming and photographing of officers. The law was approved by a large majority on Tuesday – despite protests in several French cities. Opponents fear that abuse of power by police officers will remain so with impunity. After approval, the Constitutional Council was tasked with reviewing the law.
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