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French cops drop trousers at British memorial

Two French policemen who dropped their trousers at a British war memorial have picked up a €1,000 fine each after being found guilty of indecent exposure. It was disrespectful to the dead, prosecutors said.

French cops drop trousers at British memorial
The British memorial at Ferté-sous-Rouarre where the two French policemen indecently exposed themselves. Photo: Google Streetview

The officers, aged, 27 and 31 were ordered to pay a €1,000 fine each for their antics by a French criminal court in the town of Meaux near Paris on Thursday.

The offense dates back to the afternoon of Saturday June 22 this year when the officers, dressed in civilian clothes, were passing the British war memorial in Ferté-sous-Jouarre, which stands on the south bank of the River Marne, 66 km east of Paris.

The pair, one a policeman based in Paris and the other a member of the special protection unit, were said to be drunk and reportedly dropped the trousers in front of the British memorial, the town's gendarmes told The Local on Thursday.

A shocked resident of the village was witness to the lewd act and called the local gendarmes military police.

The two men were arrested and immediately admitted the accusation against them.

The prosecution were not inclined to give the pair a slap on the wrist and charged them with indecent exposure (exhibition sexuelle), pointing to the fact their behaviour was “disrespectful towards the dead as well as to the dignity of the office.”

The British memorial at Ferté-sous-Jouarre commemorates the 3,740 members of the British expeditionary force who were killed in battles in the region in October 1914 and have no known graves.

It’s also known as the Memorial to the Missing of the Marne and includes the names of the soldiers in order of regiment and rank.

The maximum sentence the officers had faced was one year in prison and a €15,000 fine.

(The British war memorial at Ferté-sous-Jouarre. Photo: Jan Jampuis/Flickr)

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FRENCH POLICE

Video emerges of man in flames after being tasered by French police

A video showing a man engulfed in flames after being tasered by French police in Paris has gone viral in France after being published on social media this week.

The video (see below) dates back to July 2013 but was only posted online this week. 
 
The shocking images, filmed through a body camera worn by a policeman, show the arrest of a man in Place de la Nation, south east Paris.
 
Details around the arrest remain unclear, but it appears the man was already injured from a preceding incident.
 
Police surround the man, who is clearly agitated and resistant to being arrested. After confronting the police, he goads an officer and tells him to taser him. He is then hit with a baton around the legs by another officer.
 
Then the policeman wearing the camera decides to use his taser to fire an electric shock at the man. But at the same time a colleague pulls out a tear gas canister and also targets him. The highly flammable combination of electric charge and tear gas results in the man being briefly engulfed in a ball of flames.
 
(Warning: The images may shock some viewers)
 
 
The officer with the taser panics and repeatedly shouts and swears at his colleagues: “Guys don't use gas! Who fucking gassed him?”
 
The man lies in pain on the ground and shouts and screams until the end of the video as the policeman tries to calm him down.
 
The video was published on Facebook on Tuesday before being deleted. However it was then copied and uploaded to Twitter and then picked up by French media sites.
 
A spokesman for French police told LCI news that the man was not seriously injured in the scuffle. It is understood an internal police investigation was launched but no officer was handed any punishment over the incident.
 
According to reports it wasn't the first time French police had ended up burning a man they were trying to arrest by firing a taser and tear gas at the same time. A similar incident occurred six months earlier in the northern city of Rouen.
 
The video emerges at a sensitive time in relations between French youths and police, who are regularly accused of brutality and using excessive force to arrest suspects.
 
 
This week a French police officer was cleared of responsibility over the death of an environmental activist killed by a stun grenade during a 2014 protest.
 
In 2016 there were protests after a young man Adam Traoré died in police custody and French police sparked riots last year around Paris after a youth had a police baton inserted in his anus as he was arrested.