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French police risk charges over black man’s beating

A French policeman swings his baton at a protester in Marseille on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Daniel Cole

Four French police on Sunday risked being charged over the beating and racial abuse of a black music producer that shocked France and intensified controversy over new security legislation.

Tens of thousands protested across France on Saturday against the security Bill — which would restrict the right of the press to publish the faces of on-duty police — with the rally in Paris ending in bitter clashes.

The beating of music producer Michel Zecler — exposed in video footage published last week — has become a rallying cause for anger against the police in France, accused by critics of institutionalised racism, including singling out blacks and Arabs.

The protests in Paris saw a brasserie set alight, cars set on fire and stones thrown at security forces, who responded with tear gas and anti-riot tactics.

Among those hurt was an award-winning Syrian photojournalist, Ameer Alhabi.

Four police have been detained over the beating of Mr. Zecler, with three of them specifically probed for using racial violence.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:09:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/french-police-risk-charges-over-black-mans-beating/article33206534.ece

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