France: four police officers charged after brutal use


Over the weekend, 100,000 people demonstrated against police violence and a planned security law. It is supposed to prevent video recordings as they now led to a process.

Investigations have been launched against four security forces following a brutal attack on a black music producer in France. As the German Press Agency learned on Monday from judicial circles, two of them were in custody. Two more are therefore under judicial supervision.

A video of the incident released on Thursday caused outrage and protests across the country. It shows how several police officers attack the producer in the entrance of his studio with beating. A little later, a tear gas cartridge flies into the studio.

“Uniform of the Republic soiled”

Three of the officials are accused of, among other things, racist violence by officials, trespassing and forging documents. The fourth official is charged with violence by officials and property damage.

On Sunday evening, the Paris public prosecutor’s office demanded that preliminary investigations be opened against the four officials. Such a procedure can ultimately lead to a criminal case if the investigators see sufficient evidence against the accused. Otherwise, you can stop the proceedings again.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had called for the police to be dismissed if the allegations were confirmed. They had “soiled the uniform of the republic”. He himself is now supposed to declare himself to the incidents under increasing political pressure in the National Assembly on Monday. President Emmanuel Macron condemned the violence as unacceptable.

President Emmanuel Macron received Prime Minister Jean Castex, the interior and justice ministers and representatives of parliament in the Elysée Palace on Monday to find a way out. According to reports, the meeting, which is now being held at short notice, was primarily intended to discuss the controversial article of the Security Act, which criminalizes filming with malicious intent by police officers. There was initially no official confirmation from the presidential palace for the meeting. The House of Commons has already approved the bill, and now it is the Senate’s turn.

Interior Minister Darmanin had repeatedly defended the law and had come under pressure in the debate. He was supposed to speak to a parliamentary committee that evening.

Law aims to ban videos of police officers

The attack on the music producer is the second case of police violence that caused horror and massive criticism in France last week. Last Monday, videos circulated of the brutal evacuation of a makeshift tent camp by migrants on the Place de la République in Paris. Investigations are ongoing here too.

The incidents have fueled the already heated debate about a planned security law in France. According to the government, the law should better protect the police. Particularly controversial is an article that criminalizes the publication of pictures of security officers in action if this is done with the aim of injuring the physical or mental integrity of the police officers. A prison sentence of one year or a fine of 45,000 euros could be the consequence. The House of Commons has already approved the project, now it is the Senate’s turn.

Over the weekend, more than 100,000 people across the country marched through the streets to demonstrate against the planned law and police violence. In Paris alone there were 46,000, according to the Interior Ministry. The organizers spoke of a total of 500,000 demonstrators and 200,000 in the capital.

(WHAT / dpa)

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