French authorities have suspended three police officers after appearing in a video beating a black music producer in central Paris.
Saturday’s incident sparked a new outcry over French security officials.
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Monday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
The incidents come as the government tries to pass laws banning the spread (publishing) of police officers’ faces.
Critics of the law say that without these images, no incidents of the past week would have occurred.
On Thursday, French football star Kylian Mbappe, 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 bloody face of the injured producer, named only Michel.
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.
Michel 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.
The Victim Was Arrested
When he arrived at police headquarters on Thursday with his lawyer to lodge a complaint, Michel told reporters: “People who should have been protecting me have attacked me. I have done nothing right. 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”.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told French television that he would apply for the dismissal of the officers, saying “they have tarnished the Republican uniform”.
Earlier this week Mr Darmanin 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”.
What Else Is Happening In France?
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.
The government says the new bill does not jeopardize the rights of the media and ordinary citizens to report police harassment.
The bill enacts unprecedented constraints on freedom of expression. One particular provision has drawn much attention. According to its terms, any person who publishes images of police officers in their duty in a way that could “harm” their “physical or mental integrity” can face a year in prison and a €45,000 ($53,300) fine.
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).