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Paris prosecutor calls for arrest of police who beat up black producer

The Paris public prosecutor’s office has called for the arrest of three police officers, accused of beating up a black music producer, who was left with facial injuries which required stitches following the incident.

There was an outcry after images circulated online showing police officers violently and repeatedly beating a man who they were attempting to arrest.

Even the French president Emmanuel Macron weighed in on the issue, taking to Twitter to say: “The images that we have all seen of Michel Zecler’s assault are unacceptable. They shame us.”

The prosecutor’s office has now called for the indictment of three of the officers involved, and a pre-trial detention to “avoid a risk of consultation between the perpetrators or pressure on witnesses”.

They are also demanding the fourth officer, suspected of having thrown a tear-gas grenade into the producer’s studio, be placed under judicial supervision.

The prosecutor called for the investigation to be handled by an investigating judge.

The music producer and his lawyer filed a complaint with the General of the National Police – the police’s police – at their Paris headquarters, stating that several racial slurs were uttered by the officers during the arrest.

The images drew widespread condemnation, coming out just days after authorities were criticised for forcefully evacuating tents from a migrant protest in central Paris.

These two incidents happened in the wider context of a controversial “global security” law, which would make it an offence to film and identify police officers online if there is intent to harm.

Human rights groups and media organisations say the law would allow police violence to go unaccounted for.

Reference