Four police officers were indicted and two of them imprisoned in the judicial investigation opened on the beating of the black producer Michel Zecler on the night of Sunday to Monday, in this case which electrifies the debate around police violence and the global security law.
Among these four police officers indicted by an examining magistrate, three were for "willful violence by a person holding public authority (PDAP)" and "forgery in public writing", in accordance with the requisitions of the Paris prosecutor's office announced by the public prosecutor Rémy Heitz on Sunday afternoon.
These are the three police officers at the heart of the Loopsider video unveiled Thursday that caused a scandal and caused the "shame" of the head of state Emmanuel Macron, while the Elysee called Mr. Zecler on Saturday.
The police officer suspected of having thrown the tear gas canister in the music studio of the 17th arrondissement where the attack took place was indicted earlier in the evening mainly for "willful violence" by PDAP on Michel Zecler and of the nine young people who were in the basement of the studio.
The prosecution had requested pre-trial detention for the first three and a judicial review for the fourth, but the liberty and detention judge imprisoned two, the brigadier and the peacekeeper, and left two others under judicial control.
Me Anne-Laure Compoint who defends two police officers and Me Jean-Christophe Ramadier who defends one did not wish to comment on these accusations at the end of the hearing of the judge of freedoms and detention, around 04:30 in the morning .
Placing in detention some of the agents suspected of having inflicted a shower of blows on the producer must allow "to avoid a risk of consultation" between them "or of pressure on the witnesses", argued Mr. Heitz, explaining his detention requisitions provisional.
Sunday evening, Me Hafida El Ali, lawyer for the producer, said she was "satisfied" with the prosecution's requisitions, just like the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot.
"You really have to be absolutely determined not to let any violence go through wherever it comes from," she said on France 2.
- "Blows not justified" -
In custody in front of the IGPN, the three main defendants had ended up "admitting that the beatings were not justified and that they had acted mainly under the effect of fear", reported the prosecutor. .
They cited "panic" over feeling stuck in the entrance to Mr. Zecler's music studio, which they said was struggling.
They however denied "having made racist remarks" while Mr. Zecler assured that they had treated him of "dirty nigger", an insult also heard by "one of the young people" present in the basement from the studio.
They also refute "the false character of the report".
The prosecutor recalled that the police had initially indicated to have checked Michel Zecler for "not wearing a mask" and because of a "strong smell of cannabis".
But only "0.5g of herbal cannabis" will be found in a satchel later.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Thursday promised the "dismissal" of the police who "soiled the uniform of the Republic", "as soon as the facts are established by justice".
According to the prosecutor, "no particular incident" had so far marked the careers of the four men, a brigadier and three peacekeepers.
This affair, brought to light through the dissemination of videos, seemed to boost opponents of the “comprehensive security” bill, the flagship measure of which plans to restrict the possibility of filming the police.
More than 130,000 people demonstrated on Saturday, according to the Ministry of the Interior, 500,000 according to the organizers, in a generally good-natured atmosphere.
However, sometimes violent clashes have punctuated certain demonstrations, especially in Paris.
- Controversial -
According to a report from the Ministry of the Interior, 98 police and gendarmes were injured and 81 people were arrested.
In Paris, an independent Syrian photographer, an AFP collaborator, was injured in the face.
Several videos posted on social networks showed police beaten by demonstrators, "unacceptable violence", according to Gérald Darmanin.
In one week, the controversy surrounding the proposed "comprehensive security" law, strongly denounced by journalists and defenders of civil liberties, has grown even stronger.
The brutal evacuation of a migrant camp in Paris on Monday evening and the revelation on Thursday of the beating of Mr. Zecler sparked outrage and electrified the debate.
The videos of these two cases have been viewed millions of times on social media.
In this context, "we must resume the educational work" on the global security law, said its co-rapporteur, LREM deputy Jean-Michel Fauvergue.
Among the avenues considered to get out of the crisis, the former boss of the Raid notably proposed to refer article 24 framing the image of the police, the object of all the tensions, to the future bill on separatism.
Friday, Emmanuel Macron asked the government to quickly make proposals "to fight more effectively against all discrimination", for the third time this year.
© 2020 AFP