Four French officers detained over brutal beating of Black man
Four French police officers were detained on Friday for allegedly beating and racially abusing a Black music producer in Paris in a case that President Emmanuel Macron ironically said “shames us”.
Video carried by the Loopsider website shows how music producer Michel Zecler was repeatedly beaten by officers for several minutes and subjected to racial abuse as he tried to enter his music studio last weekend.
According to French media reports, three police officers followed the victim inside his music studio and repeatedly punched and beat him and others inside with a truncheon and then threw a tear gas grenade into the building to force everyone to get out.
The images which have sparked fresh accusations of systemic racism in the French police force.
“They called me ‘dirty n****r’ several times to my face while they punched me,” Zecler told reporters outside police headquarters, where he lodged a formal complaint.
In one of the videos on Loopsider a neighbour who filmed the scene from above said a plain-clothes policeman punched a kneeling Zecler in the face “maybe seven times”.
Macron, who has sparked major controversies recently over his proposed “security bill” to safeguard police brutality and making derogatory statements against Islam and Muslims, ironically declared on his Facebook page Friday that he had called on his government to devise plans to restore the public’s confidence in the police and to fight against all forms of discrimination.
Earlier this month, Macron proposed a controversial security bill that restricts the publication of images of on-duty police officers.
The lower house of the French parliament on Tuesday passed the legislation, which will head to the Senate in December for final passage and enactment.
The proposed legislation has sparked outrage and criticism among journalists and human rights groups across the country and the European Commission, which said that journalists must be able to "work freely and in full security."
Protest rallies were also held in Paris with the participation of representatives of the media, and "yellow vest" protesters.
Macron also sparked controversy and global anger among the world's nearly two billion Muslims after he publicly attacked Islam in defense of the publication of derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He defended the “right to blaspheme” after controversial French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished the sacrilegious cartoons in October.
The French president further made controversial remarks about “Islamist separatism,” which according to him threatens to take control in some Muslim communities around France.