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VIDEO: Outrage after French police humiliate amputee

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VIDEO: Outrage after French police humiliate amputee
A screengrab from the video. Photo: Jean-Didier Bakekolo
09:03 CEST+02:00
A video shows a double amputee left without his prosthetic limbs in a train station after an apparent identity check.

The video shows the man, named as Francois Bayga by the France 24 channel, abandoned by police in Paris's Gare de Lyon, with his clothes, prosthetic legs and belongings strewn around him.

The video was first posted by Jean-Didier Bakekolo on Facebook, who described it as a show of "unprecedented brutality".

In the video, Bakekolo can be heard calling after the police as they walk off, asking them to come back and saying "this is humiliation".

The video has been viewed 189,000 times on Facebook and shared over 2,000 times as well as being picked up by various French media outlets.

Social media users shared the video, criticizing the actions of the police. Many of them used the hashtag #LaFouilleDeLaHonte or 'the search of shame'. 

The Twitter user below shared pictures from the film with the words "Ladies and gentlemen: The French police". 

The user above says she cried after seeing the footage.

Bayga told French media that police had searched him to look for identity documents and had accused him of stealing before forcing him to take off his prosthetic legs and leaving him.

"They demanded my papers and I took off my back pack and showed them," he told France 24. "I gave them my telephone, my medical card and my membership card at my wheelchair rugby club."
 
"They accused me of stealing my phone. I started to get angry. I didn't know what they wanted. I was pushed up against wall and one of the policemen pulled at my leg. I explained it was artificial. They insisted on searching me. I felt completely humiliated."
 
However, a police source said that Bayga himself removed his prosthetic limbs himself after being stopped by police for urinating on the platform.

Bayga has launched an official complain and the Defenseur des droits confirmed on Twitter that an investigation had been launched.

A petition has been started on Change.org calling for the immediate suspension of the officers involved, and has already been signed by over 1,300 people.

The petition reads: "There has been a lot of police violence in recent weeks and we thought we had seen everything. But here we hit rock bottom."

Once it reaches 1,500, it will be brought to France's Interior Minister and the IGPN, which oversees France's police service.

French police have proved unpopular in recent weeks, especially after clashes between officers and protesters against France's planned labour reforms.

Police unions have called on officers to take to the streets for their own march to call for an end to "anti-cop hatred", a march that will take place on March 16th. 

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