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'He bit me!': New video emerges of violent arrest

Ben McPartland · 22 Aug 2013, 08:52

Published: 22 Aug 2013 08:52 GMT+02:00

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Amateur video footage showing a French police officer striking a woman with his baton caused outrage on the web this week and led to the launch of an official investigation.

The eight-minute video which has been watched more than 600,000 times on Youtube, was posted online showing a police officer beating a black woman with a baton, and spraying tear gas directly into her face during an arrest.

The footage, titled (Shame on French police) sparked outrage with some accusing the police of racism and others calling for the immediate suspension of the officers.

Police unions however supported the officer saying he had reacted after being pinned down and bitten three times by the woman.

A new video emerged on Wednesday after being posted online by French news site Mediapart, which shows the minutes preceding the baton strike.

The footage shows the driver, who police said was drunk and had refused to take an breathalyser test, already on the ground as officers tried to handcuff him.

All of a sudden we can hear one of the police officers shout “Argh! He’s bit me!” suggesting it was in fact the driver who bit the officer and not the woman who was later bludgeoned as the police officer had initially claimed.

Interpellation à Joué-les-Tours, le 18 août 2013 par Mediapart

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday confirmed that the Inspectorate-General of the National Police had been informed of the events shown in the video.

Story continues below…

Prosecutors in nearby Tours have said they intend to summon the two officers to tell their version of events, with a view to opening a full investigation, according to Le Parisien.

For his part, Valls warned: "There is no place in the police for violence, or views that have no accordance with the ideals of a republican police force."

"The police should be beyond reproach, and the vast majority of police officers do a difficult and remarkable job," Valls was quoted as saying by French daily Libération.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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