The French government has launched an investigation into two officers’ actions after video was posted online of them using their batons and tear gas against two women during a traffic stop.
The French news program The Observers reported on Tuesday that the officers were filmed while stopping a reportedly drunk driver in a suburb of Tours, in the Centre region of France, after spotting a vehicle driving erratically early Sunday morning. The driver allegedly refused to take a breathalizer exam and swung at the officers.
As the video opens, one of the women can be seen behind one of the officers, while the apparent driver lies on the ground. At one point, he hits her with his baton. Radio France Internationale reported that, according to police sources, the woman was biting the officer.
After the two separate, the officer grabs a can of tear gas and sprays it in her face before apparently admonishing a man standing at the scene to walk away. The officer later sprays another woman in the face. The video later shows the driver and the first woman being arrested.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls told RFI that the matter has been referred to the IGPN, a national office in charge of overseeing police activity.
“We need the whole truth and full transparency,” Valls said to RFI. “The police must be irreproachable, the vast majority of police officers carry out difficult and remarkable work.”
Watch footage from the video, posted by Agence France Presse on Tuesday, below.
The full video, posted on YouTube on Sunday, can be seen here.
[Image: “Angry police officer with nightstick telling the violent crowd to stop” via Shutterstock]