French Cops Suspended After 'Unspeakable' Video Surfaces

It shows that they beat up, racially abused Black music producer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2020 3:18 AM CST
French Cops Suspended for Beating Black Man
This photo provided by Mazava music production shows Michel Zecler, Saturday Nov.21, 2020 in Paris.   (Courtesy of Hafida el Ali Via AP)

A lawyer for a music producer in Paris says her client might be in jail if there wasn't video of his arrest. Instead, three police officers were suspended after security camera video of them beating the Black man inside his studio was released, CNN reports. The man, Michel Zecler, said police followed him into the studio, beat him with truncheons, racially abused him, and arrested him for no apparent reason. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin described the footage as "unspeakable" and "extremely shocking." "As soon as I learned about them, and about what happened, I asked for the suspension of those police officers," he said Thursday.

Zecler's lawyer, Hafida El Ali, says that after beating Zecler, police threw a tear gas grenade into the studio and beat nine people who came out. "Outside they are still beaten up and thrown to the ground and that's the moment when a police officer sees they are being filmed," which is when the violence stopped, she tells the AP. "This is very serious. The reality is that if we didn't have these videos maybe my client would be in prison." In their written reports the day after the incident, the officers said they had followed Zecler because they had seen him outside without a mask on, a breach of coronavirus regulations. The officers claimed Zecler seemed "nervous" and had a "strong drug smell" coming from him. Prosecutors threw out charges of resisting arrest against Zecler and opened an investigation of the officers, the BBC reports. (More Paris stories.)

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