In the CCTV footage, three officers are seen entering Michel Zecler’s studio before hitting, punching and hitting him for about five minutes.
Zecler alleges that during the incident, which took place on November 21, police repeatedly used racist slurs. CCTV footage did not capture audio recordings and police denied the allegations.
The original video went viral after being posted to Twitter on Thursday, November 26, and has been viewed more than 14.3 million times since.
You can see the images below:
It happened on Saturday in Paris. 15 minutes of racist beatings and insults.
The crazy scene of police violence that we reveal is simply amazing and uplifting.
We have to look at it to the end to understand the full extent of the problem. pic.twitter.com/vV00dOtmsg
– Loopsider (@Loopsidernews) November 26, 2020
Talk to Loopsider, Zecler shared his side of the story, speaking to the reporter through the footage. “At that time, I was scared. I didn’t understand what was going on. There were people passing by and I tried to get their attention, ”he explained.
“Considering the violence and all the beatings I was taking, I said to myself, ‘If I fall, I’m going to stay there and I won’t be able to get up,’ he continued. “I didn’t want to make any sudden movements that could be used against me. I was completely aware of this. All the time. ”
Another video, captured by a neighbor upstairs, shows a view from the street of police removing Zecler from the studio. In the footage, a tear gas canister appears to have been thrown to dispel a group of artists who had recorded in the basement.
This video, accompanied by audio, shows officers pushing Zecler to the ground and another officer hitting him, while he can be heard screaming in pain.
It is a new piece that we bring to the file of the aggression of Michel Zecler.
This video of a neighbor shows the aggression and its incredible violence from another angle.
“They could have killed him. ” pic.twitter.com/G60NtRNnC9
– Loopsider (@Loopsidernews) November 27, 2020
The witness who captured the footage said Loopsider: “The cop had hit him so hard he was in pain. Afterwards, he complained that his hand was hurting.
The incident began when Zecler walked out without his mask, which is currently mandatory in France due to coronavirus restrictions.
Police said they also sued the producer because she could smell the cannabis coming from her bag. At a press conference on Sunday, November 29, Paris Public Prosecutor Rémy Heitz said police had found 0.5 g of cannabis in his bag.
In a report released by the police, which was filed before they knew of the existence of CCTV footage, they claimed Zecler hit them.
Three of the officers were my under review – which comes closest to being formally charged in France – with “deliberate violence by a person of public authority, in a group and with one arm”, and “false statements”. The fourth officer, who fired the tear gas canister, was charged with “willful violence”.
At Sunday’s press conference, Heitz said they had “panicked” but admitted “their beatings were not justified and they acted mainly out of fear.”
Zecler’s video also reached President Emmanuel Macron, who called the assault “unacceptable” and “shameful” and said that “France must never resolve to violence or brutality, hence let them come. France must never allow hatred or racism to flourish.