Three French police officers have been suspended after a video emerged of them beating up a black music producer in Paris, triggering renewed anger against security forces who were seen violently breaking up a migrant camp earlier this week.
The CCTV footage, published online by news site Loopsider, shows the police kicking, punching and beating the man, named only as Michel, with their batons. The producer said he was also racially abused during the beating.
Michel was initially stopped for not wearing a face mask, according to the same news site.
Police charged the producer with violence and resisting arrest, but prosecutors dismissed the charges and instead started an investigation against the officers.
President Emmanuel Macron said he was “very shocked” by the images, according to French news channel BFM TV.
Arriving at the police station on Thursday with his lawyer to launch a complaint, Michel told the press: “People who should have been protecting me attacked me. I did nothing to deserve this. I just want these three people to be punished according to the law.”
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, said she was “profoundly shocked” by the “intolerable act”, while Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he would push for the officers’ dismissal, saying they had “soiled the uniform of the republic”.
Mr Darmanin, who has often downplayed accusations of police brutality, acknowledged the scenes were “shocking”.
“Certain images of the dispersal of the illegal migrant camp on Place de la République are shocking,” he tweeted late on Monday, adding that he wanted a report from the Paris police chief on his desk by lunchtime the next day.
The incident also comes as the French government tries to introduce controversial legislation restricting filming of police on duty – a law that opponents say would have prevented both these incidents from being made public.
Article 24 of the bill makes it a criminal offence to share images of security forces online which target them as individuals, with penalties of a year in prison or a fine of up to €45,000 (£40,000).