President Emmanuel Macron says images of three police officers beating a black music producer in Paris are “unacceptable” and “disgraceful”.
He called for urgent government proposals aimed at building trust between the police and citizens.
What Did He Say?
France should never “resort to violence” or “allow hatred or racism”, he said.
Three police officers identified in the video beating Michel Zecler have been suspended and are still being investigated.
They were interrogated in a police cell on Friday.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told French television that he would apply for the dismissal of the officers, saying “they have tarnished the Republican uniform”.
The incident led to a new security test.
The stars of the French World Cup soccer team are among the many members of the public who have spoken out about their outrage after images carried on the French capital were made public.
Earlier Friday, French media reported that a presidential official described Mr Macron as “apparently upset” by the incident.
In a series of tweets Mr Macron said proposals are also needed to fight for greater success on all forms of discrimination.
“Those who use the law must respect the law. I will never accept that the uncontrolled violence of others puts the expertise of men and women who work hard to protect us in our daily lives,” he said.
On Thursday, French football star Kylian Mbappé, a black man, joined his national team colleagues and other players to criticize the latest incident.
“Unbearable video, unacceptable violence. Say no to racism,” he wrote on Twitter next to a photo of the disturbed face of the injured producer.
A video security video was released Thursday by online news site Loopsider. It shows three policemen kicking, punching and using their sticks at the man after entering his studio. Loopsider said he was initially suspended because he did not wear a mask.
Mr Zecler said he too was racially abused during the five-minute beating.
He was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, but prosecutors dismissed the case and opened a police investigation.
When he arrived at police headquarters on Thursday with his lawyer to lodge a complaint, Mr Zecler told reporters: “People who should have been protecting me have attacked me. I have done nothing to be treated this way. I just want these three people to be punished according to the law.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she was “deeply shocked” by the “intolerable act”.
Earlier this week, Mr Darmanin again ordered police to give a full report after they violently dismantled an immigrant camp in the capital, fighting against immigrants and activists.
He wrote on Twitter that some of the incidents were “shocking”.
Controversial Security Bill
Meanwhile, the French government is pushing for a controversial security bill, which opponents say could undermine the media’s ability to monitor police conduct.
Article 24 of the bill makes it a criminal offense to post pictures of police officers or soldiers on social networking sites that are deemed to be personal.
Critics of the law say that without these images, no incidents of the past week would have occurred.
The government says the new bill does not jeopardize the rights of the media and ordinary citizens to report police harassment.
But during the criticism the government added an amendment, making it clear that Article 24 “would only deal with the distribution of sexually explicit images intended to tarnish the image of the police or the military and the body”.
People found guilty could face up to a year in prison or a fine of up to € 45,000 (£ 40,000).