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French Authorities Investigate Claims of Police Violence Against May Day Protesters

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Sun, 05 May 2019 09:14 GMT

French authorities are investigating allegations of police violence against protesters during the May Day demonstration in Paris. The authorities said on Saturday, May 4th, that they are looking at videos that show police violence, including one showing an officer pushing his truncheon inside the trousers of an arrested man, reported AFP.

The man was attacked with a truncheon after being taken from a crowd of protesters who were chanting “everyone hates the police”. 

Paris police chiefs have asked the IGPN, the body that investigates police abuses, to investigate the incident, which happened when the arrested man was pinned down by other officers.  

They are also looking at two other incidents caught on video. One shows a helmeted officer hitting a protester while the second shows another officer hurling a paving stone at protesters. 

On Friday, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told journalists, "If someone is at fault, there will be a sanction; legal and administrative sanctions."

The traditional May Day workers' march took place in an already tense atmosphere, given the weekly "yellow vest" protests in Paris and other French cities over the past six months. 

Clashes occurred even before the march got underway and continued throughout the day. 

For months, yellow vest activists have accused the police of heavy-handed repression of their right to assemble and protest, in particular the use of rubber bullet launchers that have seriously injured dozens of people.