A video of a police officer punching a teenager sparked fury in France on Friday, with high school pupils staging violent protests outside police stations in Paris.
The video shows two policemen holding up a 15-year-old boy while another violently punches him, on the sidelines of student protests Thursday against proposed labour reforms.
The boy, attending a protest in the French capital, was lying on the ground surrounded by the police when one of them shouted at him to get up before punching him.
“We were protesting, throwing eggs. A policeman … charged at me, hit me to the ground then he told me ‘get up, get up’ and he punched me … my head was spinning,” the boy told local media.
Both Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Paris police chief Michel Cadot described the images as “shocking.”
French students reacted angrily, pelting two Paris police stations with stones and setting off tear gas canisters.
The youngsters tried to smash the reinforced windows of one station with planks of wood, while one of them also scrawled “Death to cops” on the wall, an AFP journalist reported.
Police allowed the youngsters to leave the area before stationing riot police out front.
– ‘Throwing eggs’ –
Student protests were held across France on Thursday against proposed labour reforms which saw cars torched in the capital and clashes with riot police, who responded with tear gas and made more than 30 arrests.
Two policemen were injured in the violence.
Dozens of the injured boy’s fellow pupils gathered for a quiet demonstration Friday outside his Paris school.
“I was shocked,” said Brelotte, 15. “The policeman’s punch was too much. He was on the floor and under control, what was the point?”
The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident.
“These images are shocking and shocked me,” said Cazeneuve.
“The behaviour of the forces of order should be exemplary, irreproachable in every instant.”
Paris police chief Cadot added: “If there was an error, it will be punished.
“There was no doubt provocation from the students but this doesn’t justify security forces not controlling their behaviour, that is what makes the job difficult,” he said.
– Police ‘at the end of their tether’ –
Police in France saw an unprecedented surge of support in the wake of jihadist attacks last year.
But questions over the rough treatment of people raided in counter-terrorism raids had already started to reduce sympathy, and the resumption of strikes and protests over a number of government policies has put French police back in the firing line.
Nicolas Comte, secretary general of the SGP police union, told BFM TV that many police officers were fraying at the edges in France after months of protests and the constant terror threat.
“The two issues should not be linked, but with all that has happened, in terms of protests and the terrorist threat, my colleagues are very tired and at the end of their tether,” he said.
“I am not excusing it but this could explain things,” he said.
Tensions between youths and police provoked violent riots across France in 2005.
Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy
While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.
According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.
The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.
Tucker Carlson: If America is so racist, why is Cory Booker a senator?
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has made no secret of his contempt for multiculturalism, even going so far as to suggest that diversity is not our "strength."
At the same time, however, he firmly believes that America is not a racist country, and has no reason to give reparations to the descendants of enslaved Africans. The proof? New Jersey elected a black senator!
"Sen. Cory Booker made a guest appearance at the [reparations] hearing. He claimed that the same country that has made him one of the most powerful figures in the land, is in fact incorrigibly racist," said Carlson. He played a clip of Booker saying, "We as a nation have not yet truly acknowledged and grappled with racism and white supremacy that has tainted this country's founding and continues to persist in those deep racial disparities and inequalities today."
Wall Street Journal issues blistering op-ed asking Trump what the point is of a second term
In a blistering op-ed, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.
During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.
"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."