UPDATED Friday, November 26 16:20: The French parliament this week passed a controversial new law forbidding the filming of police officers while carrying out their duties, if the intent is to cause them physical or psychological harm. Many journalists expressed doubts about the new law, which was passed on its first reading.
While there is considerable public sympathy in France for police officers who are in the front line battling Islamist extremists, a vicious and unprovoked attack on a Parisian music producer has caused outrage across social media amid calls for the police officers concerned to be called to account for their actions.
“Michel” was stopped by police for not wearing a mask, was then pushed into the entrance to his studio and viciously beaten for 15 minutes. The police officers involved had not noticed a security camera in the lobby that caught all their blows, kicks, and punches, and only when someone shouted ‘camera” did the beating stop.
Michel was arrested and charged with assaulting the three policeman and spent 48 hours in custody.
A report by David Perrotin on Loopsider brought the facts out into the open. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hildago, said she was “profoundly shocked by this intolerable act.” She called the assault “exceptionally serious” and offered all her support to Michel.
By Thursday evening the video had been viewed 9.3 million times on Twitter.
Another Twitter user aded: “Without that camera, Michel would certainly have been charged with assaulting the police officers.”
Christophe Castaner, who lost his post as Minister of the Interior in July this year for not sufficiently supporting the police, said: “Zero tolerance against racism and against this violence, that has no place in our Republic.”
President Macron said he was shocked by the video and called in the current, hardline, minister of the interior for consultations on Friday afternoon.