Video of beating leads to investigation of Paris police officers

Two have been remanded in custody, while the other two were given conditional release. The video shows three of the officers shove Michel Zecler inside his music studio, then punch, kick and hit him repeatedly with a truncheon for several minutes.  As they leave, a fourth officer throws a tear gas canister through the door.Zecler, 41, said they also hurled racist insults at him, although the police deny that. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox

He said he was scared, afraid for his life. Thousands of protesters rallied in Paris on November 28 against a new French law that would restrict sharing images of police, only days after the country was shaken by footage showing officers allegedly beating and racially abusing a music producer. The fourth officer, accused of throwing the tear gas, is under investigation for intentional violence. Reuters Video

Among those hurt in the clashes was Syrian photojournalist Ameer Alhalbi, now based in Paris, who said it was like being in Aleppo.On Monday, lawmakers announced they were suspending the controversial article, promising it would be completely rewritten.Press freedom watch body RSF-Reporters Without Borders responded that it wasn’t enough to rewrite Article 24, but that the article should be scrapped entirely. Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of RSF, also called on the government to “put concrete measures in place to bring an end to police violence against journalists covering demonstrations.”
First published on November 30, 2020 / 4:36 PM Rioters torched vehicles, vandalized shops and hurled stones and firecrackers at police, who responded by charging some of the crowd and firing tear gas. French president Emmanuel Macron said the images were “shameful.” Posting on Facebook, he denounced what he called an “unacceptable attack.”Preliminary charges have been filed against the three officers caught on tape for intentional violence in a group, with a weapon. Journalists asserted that it would make it difficult to report on police activities, and almost impossible to broadcast live on police operations.Police unions defended the article, saying their members are often filmed up close with smartphones by people who then post the video or photos on social media, with the names of the officers, and sometimes the names and addresses of their families and even where their children go to school.Protests against the law last Saturday in central Paris degenerated into violence. Paris police officers under investigation after video of beating spurs outrage

By Elaine Cobbe

November 30, 2020 / 4:36 PM
/ CBS News

Paris police charged after vicious beating

Paris police charged after vicious beating


Four Paris police officers have been handed preliminary charges over the beating of a Black music producer, after security footage of the incident was posted online. The Zecler incident also again raised fears that a new law to restrict the right to publish or broadcast images of some police operations could be used to cover up alleged wrongdoing.Article 24 of that law provoked accusations that the government was trampling on press freedom. Trending News

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During a press conference Sunday, Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz said the officers seen in the video said they had panicked, but admitted that their blows were “not justified and they had mainly acted out of fear.”The police officers said they had approached Zecler because he was not wearing a mask. Heitz said they also smelled cannabis, but a search of his bag revealed only half a gram of the drug.The video came to light as there are growing concerns in France that public trust in the police is being eroded.Last week, the Paris police chief announced an internal investigation into officers accused of violence as they cleared an illegal refugee camp in the city center November 23. “I didn’t do anything to deserve that,” he said.The video prompted outrage in France to the highest levels.