Producer beaten up in Paris: the accused police officers placed in custody

Michel Zecler, the music producer victim of police violence, responding to the media, November 26, 2020. AP - Thibault Camus

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

Four police officers were taken into custody on Friday after the violent beating of a black producer in Paris.

Three of them are heard in particular for “racist violence” in this case which “shocked” President Macron, and relaunched the recurring debate in France on racism and police violence.


Read more

The four officials, suspended Thursday, were placed in the early afternoon, Friday November 27, in custody in the premises of the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), the police.

They are all targeted by an investigation for "violence by a person holding public authority" and "forgery in public writing". 

Three of them are also heard for "voluntary violence, in assembly, with weapon and of a racist nature", informed the public prosecutor of Paris.

General indignation

The video of the beating, posted Thursday on social networks and widely shared - more than ten million views -, sent a shock wave to the top of the state, passing by several big names in sport and the music.

President Emmanuel Macron was " 

very shocked

 " by the images showing Michel Zecler, a black producer, badly beaten in the entrance of his music studio in Paris.

This was the first official reaction of the Head of State on this affair which made the headlines of the national press on Friday.


 ", headlined the left-wing daily


, on a photo of the bloodied face of Michel Zecler.

Police violence

: the executive implicated

 ", posted the newspaper

Le Monde

en Une.

Star footballers Antoine Griezmann or Kylian Mbappé were also indignant on social networks.

Gerald Darmanin, the divisive Minister of the Interior, the embodiment of a security strategy without qualms, was received Thursday evening by Mr. Macron who asked him to pronounce very clear sanctions against the police, according to a government source .


Dirty uniform 


After this meeting, the minister announced on the France 2 channel that he was asking for the dismissal of the four police officers (the fourth accused is accused of having thrown a tear gas canister in the studio), and accused them of having "

 soiled the uniform of the Republic 


The general secretary of the union of police commissioners, David Le Bars, wished that " 

justice acts quickly

 ", while asking to get out of the controversy consisting in "making 


 " that the whole of the police force was violent. 

According to Michel Zecler, who lodged a complaint, the police called him a " 

dirty nigger

 " on several occasions.

This testimony raises questions about "structural" racism and violence within the French police, categorically denied by the authorities, but fueled by a series of cases in recent years.


With AFP



Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • France

  • Justice

  • Emmanuel Macron

  • Racism