President Emmanuel Macron says video of black man’s beating ‘shames us’


Prosecutors are investigating Zecler’s violent arrest. 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.

Michel Zecler on his way to the Inspectorate General of the National Police on Thursday.Credit:AP

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.

“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.

The incidents come amid controversy over a new security law, particularly a measure that would make it a crime to publish images of officers with intent to cause them harm. Civil liberties groups and journalists are concerned that the measure will allow police brutality to go undiscovered and unpunished. Protests are planned around France on Saturday, Paris time.

In his Facebook message, Macron said he believed police should treat the French in an “exemplary” fashion, and vice versa. That meant, he said, that he would “never” accept either violence against police or violence by them.

Ashamed of the violence: French President Emmanuel Macron.

Ashamed of the violence: French President Emmanuel Macron.Credit:AP

“Those who ensure the law is applied must respect the law,” he said.

Macron, apparently responding to criticism about his perceived heavy-handedness with the press, stressed that he ardently believed in freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

“The values of the [French] Republic are not negotiable,” he said.


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