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French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner Doesn’t Think Bludgeoning a Yellow Vest’s Head Is Police Violence

Last updated on 28th July 2019

Christophe Castaner returned to the scene filmed on March 30th showing a Yellow Vest being bludgeoned. Despite the eloquent images, the minister sees only one gesture that can “happen”.

On April 2nd the French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner commented on a scene that occurred on March 30th in Besançon, on the occasion of Act 20 of the mobilisation of Yellow Vests, during which a member of law enforcement beat one of the protesters with a truncheon.

“There are no pictures of police violence. There is a scene where a policeman, in action, at a time of a charge, indeed pushed someone. When the police are tasked with clearing a protest, there are some things that can happen. But to remove doubt, including because what is reported to us is that the individual in question wanted to seize a grenade and send it back to law enforcement, I asked the prefect so that the IGPN (General Inspectorate of the National Police) act,” he told the journalist of “France 3 Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur” who questioned him.

It’s hard to imagine that Christophe Castaner is referring to the same scene that was filmed by the local “Media 25” during this event. And yet, this is the case. In the footage a policeman runs towards a Yellow Vest who does not seem to pose an immediate threat, before he is struck with a violent blow of a truncheon in the face, while the latter turns his back on him.

Injured on the eyebrow, the young man was quickly treated by a street medic (a first-aid worker present at demonstrations to provide first aid). Posted on social networks, the video was viewed more than 125,000 times on March 31st in the late afternoon.

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