The Michel Zecler case

On 21 November, a black music producer was violently assaulted during a police intervention. Let’s take a look back at this affair which has shaken up the political class.

On November 26th, Loopsider published on his Twitter account a video showing police officers beating up a music producer. On 21 November, the surveillance cameras in Michel Zecler’s studio filmed his very violent arrest. Three policemen were seen entering the studio before beating him several times. Other blows were then dealt to him in the middle of the street. They tried to make this aggression look like a rebellion, but their word is contradicted by the images. The video made by David Perrotin analyses a very violent sequence of about fifteen minutes with the help of the victim. Very quickly, the post will be massively shared on social networks. More than 120,000 people retweaked the post.

According to their report, which Franceinfo was able to consult, the police attempted to arrest Michel Zecler for failing to wear a mask. « As we tried to intercept him, he dragged us by force into the building, » they wrote. The police wrote several times that the man had beaten them. According to these same images, the man resisted by refusing to let himself be taken in, and then tried to protect his face and body. During this scene, he does not strike, he tries to protect himself. In his testimony to Loopsider, Michel Zecler also indicated that he had been subjected to racist insults from the police. « They said ‘dirty nigger’ several times and punched me ».

What legal proceedings ?

Following this arrest, Michel Zecler was placed in police custody in the context of an investigation opened by the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office for « violence against a person holding public authority » and « rebellion ». But the Paris public prosecutor’s office closed this investigation and opened Tuesday a new procedure for « violence by persons holding public authority » and « forgery in public writing », entrusted to the IGPN.

This video led to a political crisis. Many people reacted on social networks such as the Prime Minister, Gerald Darmanin or the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron.

On Tuesday 22 December, judges ordered the release of two police officers detained since 30 November for beating up Michel Zecler, a black music producer in Paris. The two police officers in question were placed under judicial supervision, with a ban on contacting the victim and others under investigation, on appearing in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, on working as a police officer and on possessing a weapon. They will also have to pay a deposit of 5,000 euros. 

This release has been very criticised. Michel Zecler said he was disappointed by the justice system. He will have physical and psychological after-effects for life.  « His tendon » in his left biceps « was severed and had to be reattached with a titanium pin which he will keep for life », his lawyer pointed out in an interview.

This case comes during the controversy over the proposed « global security » law, which is intended to regulate the dissemination of images of law enforcement agencies in intervention. However, these images allowed the music producer to be cleared and to show this police violence.