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Macron says images of police beating black man shameful for France

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Macron says images of police beating Black man shameful for France
French president, Emmanuel Macron

President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that images showing Paris police beating up a Black music producer were shameful for France, and that government would have to find a way to restore public confidence in the force.

Prosecutors are investigating the violent arrest of Michel Zecler, who said he was also racially abused by the officers, after CCTV footage of the incident was released. The police watchdog is also investigating.

Four police officers were being held for questioning as part of the investigation, the Paris Prosecutor’s office said.

The beating inside the entrance of a building was captured on closed-circuit television and mobile phone footage, which has circulated widely online and has made headlines around Europe.

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“The images we have all seen of the aggression against Michel Zecler are unacceptable, they are shameful for all of us. France should never allow violence or brutality, no matter who it comes from. France should never let hate or racism prosper,” Macron said in a statement on his Facebook page.

He added that the police force should be exemplary. “Those whose job it is to apply the law should respect the law,” he said, adding that he has asked the government to urgently make proposals about how to restore confidence in the police.

The beating of Zecler risks inflaming racial tension, with allegations of repeated police brutality against Black and ethnic communities at the forefront of many people’s minds after the death of Black American George Floyd in Minneapolis in May sparked the “BlackLivesMatter” movement.

Dominique Sopo, president of the anti-racism group “SOS Racisme”, told Reuters Zecler had been the target of a “racist attack”.

“For police officers to act that way they must have a tremendous feeling of impunity. This situation is a symptom of impunity that has been going on for too long,” he added.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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