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

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron is 'very shocked' by images showing Paris police beating up a Black music producer, a government source said on Friday.

Reuters November 28, 2020 00:12:50 IST
Macron 'very shocked' by images of French police beating Black man

Macron very shocked by images of French police beating Black man

PARIS (Reuters) - 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 which 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 over draft legislation that would limit journalists' ability to document French police officers at work.

Dominique Sopo, President of 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 an 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.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Yiming Woo, Ardee Napolitano; Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jon Boyle)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.