Last updated on 28th July 2019
When faced with the bludgeoning of a Yellow Vest in Besançon, the Minister of the Interior evoked actions that “may occur”. Commenting on another, older scene, a gendarmerie commander delivered a different vision.
The commander of a group of mobile gendarmes in the National Gendarmerie Michael Di Meo acknowledged, in an excerpt of a report broadcasted on April 7th on BFMTV (the full version was broadcasted on April 8th), that Yellow Vest protesters could have been subjected to violence by Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS).
Invited to comment on a scene that happened during Act 3 of the movement in early December, the high-ranking gendarmerie was unambiguous: “When I see that, I have to go in this direction [of the demonstrators], yes there is police violence, there we have police violence,”he said.
The video in question shows the forceful intervention of law enforcement on December 1st 2018 in a fast-food restaurant in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, where protesters were entrenched.
Cited by the news channel continuously, several CRS officers present during the intervention explain that the commander of the company leading the intervention felt that “breakers” were inside the food chain. He ordered his men to “Bludgeon them”, “Take them out, smash their mouths!”.
🗨 “Oui, il y a de la violence policière, malheureusement.”— BFMTV (@BFMTV) April 8, 2019
➡ Ce colonel de gendarmerie reconnaît que des manifestants ont subi des violences de la part de CRS
📺 Extrait d’un long format de @BFMTV à découvrir ce soir à 20h40 pic.twitter.com/5MssBywuTg
Earlier this month, Christophe Castaner, who has always refused to condemn cases of violence committed by law enforcement, spoke about another scene filmed on March 30th in Besançon, showing a Yellow Vest receive a baton blow. Despite the eloquent images, the Minister of the Interior, from his side, affirmed that he saw it as a gesture that “could happen”.