Despite media attention waning, police brutality against Yellow Vest protesters in France shows no sign of slowing, with two new videos depicting unprovoked violence that wouldn’t look out of place in a dictatorship.
In the first clip, shot in Toulouse, a police officer runs out of his vehicle before violently grabbing a man doing nothing other than washing his face. Another officer then whacks him over the head with a baton.
?? ???????HONTE! #GiletsJaunes à #Toulouse #Actes20 : Ecoutez cette Reporter étrangère "this protester rinses his face with water, the police beat him with batons, why?"??Qlq'un de BFM pr lui répondre!
??Partagez??#France #YellowVests #Macron #Paris #ACTEXX #Benalla @JJBourdin_RMC pic.twitter.com/z28tgJruRC
— Le Général (@leGneral2) March 31, 2019
Reinforcements then arrive and threaten people filming the incident while the man is being arrested and dragged away.
“The man was washing his face in the water and they start hitting him with sticks – why?” asks one woman.
A second clip out of Besançon shows a riot cop run up to a man wearing a yellow vest and smack him in the head with his baton. The violence is particularly egregious because the man is not even being detained or arrested.
La preuve de la violence des FDO :
Scène d'une violence inouïe ou l'on voit un policier frapper avec sa matraque, à la tête, un manifestant #GiletJaune qui semble pacifiste lors de l'#acte20 des Gilets Jaunes à #Besançon – #acteXX
— Adrenaline ? ???? (@adrenaline1001) March 31, 2019
The man is then seen profusely bleeding from his head as fellow protesters urgently call for a medic. Police then spray the entire area with tear gas.
Experts say that President Macron’s decision to meet the protests with increasing authoritarianism could backfire horrendously.
“Macron is in a bind: if he’s not tough enough, he invites accusations of being lax in the face of violent public disorder,” said James Shields, professor of French Politics and Modern History at the University of Warwick.
“If he comes down heavily on the protesters, he opens himself to the charge of being authoritarian. The president looks now to be in a position where he can’t win either way.”
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