After two days of police custody in the premises of the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN, the “police of the police”), the four police officers accused of the beating of Michel Zecler were transferred to the judicial court of Paris, Sunday, November 29, for their removal, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, is due to hold a press conference at 5 p.m. to announce the direction of the charges against the four men.
The latter, against whom an investigation has been opened since Tuesday for “Willful violence by a person holding public authority”, with the aggravating circumstance of racism, and “Forgery in public writing”, had been taken into custody on Friday.
They will either appear before a magistrate of the Paris prosecutor’s office, who could for example decide on an immediate appearance or a deferred summons before the judicial court, or before an investigating judge if the prosecutor decides to open a judicial investigation. . A “Forgery in public writing” by a person holding public authority is a crime, which makes it highly probable that judicial information be opened, which is compulsory in the matter.
Hit for several minutes
The site Loopsider revealed the case by publishing, Thursday, a video investigation into the assault of Michel Zecler. We see this black music producer struck for several minutes in his music studio on Saturday, November 21 in Paris by three police officers, before a fourth came to throw a tear gas canister from outside inside the room.
In a second video released on Friday, Mr Zecler is seen being beaten again in the street, once checked out of the studio, and surrounded by numerous other police officers who do not appear to prevent the further beatings. Mr Zecler claimed to have been repeatedly insulted by “Dirty nigger”. According to The Parisian, the police officers contested in police custody any racist dimension of their actions.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced Thursday “Revocation” police officers involved, “As soon as the facts are established by justice”. He accused them of having “Soiled the uniform of the Republic”.
An explosive context
The press conference by Mr. Heitz, who on Thursday called the affair“Extremely important”, intervenes the day after a strong mobilization in a hundred cities of France against the text of law “global security” and police violence. More than 130,000 people demonstrated, according to the Interior Ministry, 500,000 according to the organizers, in a generally friendly atmosphere. However, sometimes violent clashes have punctuated certain demonstrations, especially in Paris.
According to a report from the Ministry of the Interior, around sixty police and gendarmes were injured and 81 people were arrested. In Paris, an independent Syrian photographer, an AFP collaborator, was injured in the face. Two protesters, who made a report to the IGPN, were injured in the provinces, according to the police. In addition, several videos posted on social networks showed police officers beaten up by demonstrators, “Unacceptable violence” according to Gérald Darmanin.
Within a week, the controversy surrounding the “comprehensive security” bill, strongly denounced by journalists and defenders of civil liberties, has grown even stronger. In addition to the revelation of Mr. Zecler’s assault, the images of the brutal evacuation of a migrant camp in Paris on Monday evening sparked indignation and electrified the debate. These scenes were revealed mainly by private video surveillance images in the first case, and by videos shot by journalists in the second.
Emmanuel Macron on Friday shared his ” shame “ facing the images of the beating of Mr. Zecler, among the most viral in 2020 in terms of information. For the third time this year, the head of state asked the government to quickly make proposals to him “To fight more effectively against all forms of discrimination”.
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