In an interview with the news outlet, the victim, a music producer identified as Michel Zecler, said he wants justice. Per footage of the incident, three officers reportedly followed Zecler into his studio and then went ahead to assault him, punching him several times and also hitting him with a truncheon. Besides the assault, Zecler also claimed the officers subjected him to racial abuse among other insults.
Zecler, who said he did not know why he was being assaulted and arrested, said he’s glad “the truth is out.” “I want to understand why I have been assaulted by people who were wearing a police uniform. I want justice actually because I believe in the justice of my country,” he added.
He sustained injuries on his head, legs and forearms. “He asked them what they wanted, if they wanted to check his identity. … They didn’t stop beating him, the video of the violence (inside the studio) lasts for 12 minutes,” his lawyer, Hafida El Ali told.
During the incident, the officers also called for reinforcement after they stepped out of the studio, and then threw a teargas grenade back inside in an attempt to get the people inside to come out, his lawyer said, adding that the other nine people who were in the studio were also beaten.
“Outside they are still beaten up and thrown to the ground and that’s the moment when a police officer sees they are being filmed,” El Ali said. The officers reportedly stopped the assault when they realized they were being filmed.
The assault comes in the wake of an effort by the French government to push a bill that would make filming the police in certain instances illegal. Civil liberties groups and journalists are, however, protesting the bill, saying it’ll promote police brutality and allow officers who commit such atrocities to walk away free.
“These videos are essential because initially my client was being detained… for violence against people with public authority,” El Ali said. “This is very serious. The reality is that if we didn’t have these videos maybe my client would be in prison.”