The incident came as President Emmanuel Macron’s government is pushing a new bill that restricts the ability to film police, which has prompted protests from civil liberties groups and journalists concerned that it would allow police brutality to go undiscovered and unpunished.
Three officers followed Michel Zecler inside his music studio after they apparently saw him walking in the street without wearing a mask, Loopsider reports. The published video images, both from a security camera inside the studio and filmed by neighbours outside, show officers repeatedly punching him and beating him with a truncheon.
The officers then left, called in reinforcements and threw a tear gas grenade into the studio to get those inside to come out, according to Loopsider. It reported that nine others who were recording music in the studio basement were also beaten. Michel told Loopsider that the officers hurled repeated racist insults at him, and he was taken in custody for 48 hours.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin ordered the officers involved in the case suspended.
Zecler told the Associated Press he feels “good” now that “the truth is out.”
“I want to understand why I have been assaulted by people who were wearing a police uniform. I want justice actually, because I believe in the justice of my country,” he said.
This may be of interest. Warning, it gets a little bloody.