As protests continue in France in 2020, a new video surfaced of French police appearing to single out a peaceful protester and violently attack him while pushing cameras and bystanders away.
In the video, posted by independent French media outlet ABC7 Media, which now has over 2.5 million views on Twitter, the police are seen running toward a crowd of protesters, and seemingly making a split decision as to which protester would be singled out for abuse.
First, a police officer points at a man of African descent, before pointing at the man to his left. Then, another police officer rushes to the line of protesters, and appears to select the next man in line.
The police immediately grab him out of line, kick him in the chest, and take him to the ground.
As other protesters and media begin to object to the action, more police with riot shields form a barrier to separate the man being beaten from the crowd. Before being blocked from the camera’s view, the man is seen holding his head protectively as more police join the mob.
When one masked police officer realizes a camera is capturing the event, he rushes toward the camera to push the camera operator away from the scene.
The camera then captures a man in a blue jacket attempt to reach the man being beaten. The same police officer who pushed the camera away then grabs the man in the blue jacket, and takes him to the ground.
Seconds later, small children are seen being led away from the altercation.
— AB7 Média (@Ab7Media) February 8, 2020
Remarking on the lack of international media attention given to the protests in recent months, one journalist Bryan MacDonald wrote on Twitter, “Brutal scenes in Saint Petersburg* today as Putin’s thugs appear to grab a random peaceful protestor and beat him up for no obvious reason.”
MacDonald then continued, “*only kidding, it’s apparently in Bordeaux, France. Thus US/UK media will largely ignore it.”
Brutal scenes in Saint Petersburg* today as Putin's thugs appear to grab a random peaceful protestor and beat him up for no obvious reason.
*only kidding, it's apparently in Bordeaux, France. Thus US/UK media will largely ignore it. pic.twitter.com/g3FwDJMpVy
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) February 8, 2020
France has been shaken by a series of protests, most known as the Yellow Vest Protest, since November of 2018.
In one altercation earlier this year, police were seen pitted against fire fighters wearing Joker face paint.
A video has surfaced showing the two factions fighting amid the protest, causing international shock.
According to The Daily Mail, the baton-wielding CRS (Republican Security Companies) were involved in clashes with firefighters protesting for better conditions and improved pension schemes.
An eyewitness reported, “The firefighters were very militant, and at one stage tried to push down police barriers.”
“The police responded with tear gas, and then went in with their batons. The fighting got very ugly.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, despite being intensely unpopular in his homeland and the subject of ridicule for allowing the protests to continue abroad, is considered “Europe’s best hope” by The Guardian.