French protests after vicious police beating of Michel Zecler in Paris

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades during a protest march against police violence in Paris on Saturday after masked protesters launched fireworks at their lines, put up barricades and threw stones, Reuters reports.

Several groups clashed with police, with two cars, a motorcycle and building materials being set on fire.

Thousands of people also marched in Lille, Rennes, Strasbourg and other cities.

The protests follow the publication this week of CCTV footage of the minutes-long beating of Black music producer Michel Zecler by three police officers in Paris on November 21st.


The incident has also fanned anger about a draft law that is seen as curbing the right of journalists to report on police brutality.

The bill would make it a crime to circulate images of police officers in certain circumstances, which opponents say would limit press freedom.

Many protesters carried placards with slogans like “Who will protect us from the police”, “Stop police violence” and “Democracy bludgeoned”.

The images of Zecler being beaten have circulated widely on social media and in the French and foreign press. President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday the images were shameful for France.

Four police officers are being held for questioning as part of an investigation into the beating.

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