Emmanuel Macron, the President of France said that photos of a badly beaten up and abused Black music producer has left him “very shocked”. BFM TV reported the news quoting the president.
On November 21, a black music producer going by Michel alleged that some police officers racially abused and assaulted him during a check. After CCTV footage of the incident surfaced online, French authorities said that they are looking into the allegations.
The alleged beating took place inside the entrance of a building. But closed-circuit television and mobile phone footage captured them and the video became instantly viral. Many French TV channels also put it as their headline news.
Michel said that the beating took place at his music studio in Paris’s 17th arrondissement (district). He told reporters that the police jumped on him and bruised him badly. He said to the reporters, “I did nothing to deserve this … I’m lucky, unlike many others, because I have this video to protect me.”
He said that he was walking in the streets without a face mask. This was against the French Covid-19 health protocols and avoiding it would lead to a fine. When Michel saw a police car, he went into his studio nearby to avoid the fine. However, he mentioned that the police followed him inside the studio and began to beat him up and throw racial abuse at him.
Gerald Darmanin, the French Interior Minister also addressed the issue on France 2 television network on Thursday. He asserted that once they confirm the alleged wrongdoings, they will sanction the responsible officers immediately.
The video of the wrongdoing is captured in video and shared on the online news site Loopsider. Since then, it has been shared more than 700,000 times.
Ça s'est passé samedi à Paris. 15 minutes de coups et d'insultes racistes.
La folle scène de violences policières que nous révélons est tout simplement inouie et édifiante.
Il faut la regarder jusqu'au bout pour mesurer toute l'ampleur du problème. pic.twitter.com/vV00dOtmsg
— Loopsider (@Loopsidernews) November 26, 2020
Loopsider’s post translated:
It happened on Saturday in Paris. 15 minutes of racist beatings and insults.
The crazy scene of police violence that we reveal is simply amazing and uplifting.
We must look at it to the end to understand the full extent of the problem.
New law in France prohibits journalists’ from using police’s photos
French footballer and Paris Saint-German star Kylian Mbappé also took to Twitter and shared the video.
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) November 26, 2020
Mbappé also shared a message with his post. The post when translated read:
“My France has values, principles, and codes … My Franch for me does not live in lies
With heart and rage in the light not in the shadows
My France has me it mixes up yeah. it is a rainbow.
She bothers you, I know, because she doesn’t want you as a model ”
France is amid a new draft law. This law will prohibit journalists from showing images of French police officers at work. The law received backlashes and criticisms from free expression advocates and even led to protests. On Thursday, the Prime Minister’s office said they are setting up an independent commission that will focus on coming up with a new version of the legislation.
Senior lecturer in Criminology, Waqas Tufail also expressed his concern on Twitter. He said, “Yet more police brutality in France Black music producer Michel was beaten and racially abused for over 15 minutes by a group of police officers who did not know they were being filmed”. He also said that under the proposed new legislation, it will be a criminal offense to film police officers.
This act also comes in light of the death of Goerge Floyd and the subsequent “BlackLivesMatter” (BLM) movement. The BLM movement also gained momentum in France. Particularly, in deprived city suburbs where police are known to attack youths from ethnic minorities.