French police officers detained after video captures attack on Black man
Four officers have been suspended and are now in custody after the beating of music producer Michel Zecler
On Thursday, November 26, Black music producer Michel Zecler was entering his recording studio in Paris when he was confronted by four French police officers and beaten for several minutes.
The beating was captured by a studio surveillance camera and was posted by French online news outlet, Loopsider.
According to NPR, Zecler, 41, was seen by the officers walking the streets of Paris without a face mask on, which is required in the country under COVID-19 protocols. Surveillance footage shows multiple officers follow Zecler to his recording studio before pushing him through the front door and later hitting him with fists and a billy club in a nearly nine-minute video.
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The brutal beating lasted several minutes before building residents came to Zecler’s defense. Despite people trying to help Zecler, tear gas was thrown through the window to force him out of the studio, and he was subsequently jailed for two days for numerous charges, including resisting arrest.
Zecler, while wearing an arm sling, stated to Loopsider, “I thought it was my last day,” fearing that the officers would take his life.
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The footage was leaked to Loopsider and went viral, attracting over 8 million views. The four officers were suspended and are now in custody for the attack. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin condemned the officers in a statement, saying that they would be fired after they had “sullied the uniform of the Republic.”
The viral video of Zecler’s attack by police is ill-timed for French President Emmanuel Macron. His government has been attempting to pass legislation that would stop police from being filmed.
Since the summer, thousands of French residents have protested such police brutality, following the stateside killing of George Floyd on May 25.
NBC News reported that nearly 20,000 people demonstrated in a police brutality rally on June 2 in Paris.
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