On November 27, French authorities detained four cops for allegedly beating and abusing a black music producer in Paris. The video of the horrifying incident was shared by Loopsider, and it shows how music producer Michel Zecler was repeatedly beaten by officers for several minutes. Zecler was subjected to racial abuse as he tried to enter his music studio last weekend.
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While calling the incident an “unacceptable attack”, French President Emmanuel Macron asked the government to come up with proposals to “fight against discrimination”. In a series of tweets, the president asserted that France must never allow hate or racism to spread. “Those whose job it is to apply the law should respect the law,” the President further added.
Macron said, “The images we have all seen of Michel Zecler’s assault are unacceptable. They shame us. France must never resolve to violence or brutality, wherever they come from. France must never allow hatred or racism to flourish”.
Les images que nous avons tous vues de l’agression de Michel Zecler sont inacceptables. Elles nous font honte. La France ne doit jamais se résoudre à la violence ou la brutalité, d’où qu’elles viennent. La France ne doit jamais laisser prospérer la haine ou le racisme.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 27, 2020
The closed-circuit television footage caused outrage after it went viral, aired by the French TV stations, and circulated across social media. Further, celebrities including football World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann also condemned the brutal thrashing on the Black producer. French star singer Aya Nakamura also said that she wished the producer strength.
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Incident sparks accusations of systemic racism
According to Aljazeera, following the incident, a presidential official said that Macron was “very shocked” by the images which have sparked fresh accusations of systemic racism in the French police force. While speaking to reporters, Zecler also said that that cops called him “dirty n****r” several times to his face while they punched him. He said that he had been outside without a mask, as required by current local coronavirus rules when he saw a police car approach.
Zecler told French reporters that he was attacked by the French officers in the confinement of his studio based out of Paris’s 17th arrondissement. He added that in a bid to avoid them, he slipped into his production studio to avoid being fined. Another video also showed how the officers followed Zecler inside and thrashed him in the entrance area for several minutes.
Since the video was shared online, the alleged attack has brought the issue of repeated police brutality against the Black and ethnic communities to the fore, just months after US police killed African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. In recent months, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the globe and Paris police have also faced accusation of excessive force when they cleared out an illegal migrant campsite in central Paris square.
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