Police Charged Over Black Man's Beating As Macron Seeks Crisis Exit
Sumaira FH 2 months ago Mon 30th November 2020 | 10:28 PM
Four French police officers were charged Monday over the beating and racial abuse of a black music producer, as President Emmanuel Macron scrambled to contain the political fallout from the case that has sparked outrage in France
Paris, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Nov, 2020 ) :Four French police officers were charged Monday over the beating and racial abuse of a black music producer, as President Emmanuel Macron scrambled to contain the political fallout from the case that has sparked outrage in France.
Lawmakers from President Emmanuel Macron's party said Monday that they would propose a "complete rewrite" of part of the draft law.
Christophe Castaner, the parliamentary chief of Macron's ruling LREM party, denied that it marked a climbdown by the president.
He said the rewrite aimed to balance the need to protect the police with "the basic right to freedom of information".
- 'Restore confidence' - The announcement came after Macron held a crisis meeting with cabinet ministers and parliamentary leaders.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin was to face questions from a parliamentary commission over the law later Monday.
Earlier Monday Pierre Person, a member of the parliamentary commission said that "a rewrite of the article or the creation of yet another committee won't put an end to the mistrust felt by a part of the population." "I am therefore in favour of deleting Article 24," he told the Le Parisien newspaper.
- Policemen behind bars - Human rights activists say the images of the beating -- first published by the Loopsider news site -- might never have been made public if Article 24 had already been in force.
The bill would criminalise publishing images of the police with the intent of harming their "physical or psychological integrity.
A Paris investigating magistrate early Monday charged all four officers involved with assault by a person holding public authority. Three were also charged with fabricating their statement on the incident.
Two of the accused will remain behind bars but the other two were freed on conditional release, a judicial source told AFP.
He said that the officers had acknowledged that their use of force was unjustified, but that they claimed they had acted in "fear" and "panic," and denied any racist abuse.
- Macron 'in a trap' - Zecler had been stopped for not wearing a mask. The police also claimed he smelled strongly of cannabis but only a tiny amount of the substance was later found in a bag, the prosecutor said.
Macron said Friday that the images of Zecler's beating "shame us".
The president "is caught in a trap," said the headline in the left-leaning Liberation daily.
Al-Halbi is a freelance photographer who has worked for Polka Magazine and AFP.
"We are shocked by the injuries suffered by our colleague Ameer al-Halbi and condemn the unprovoked violence," said Phil Chetwynd, AFP's global news director.
Al-Halbi, who was unable to get to hospital for several hours, said the events felt like a throwback to the Syrian civil war.