Protester loses testicle after being clubbed by Paris police
A young guy who was struck in the crotch by a police officer during a massive rally in Paris had his testicle removed, he told the daily French newspaper Liberation, which published an article on the incident on Sunday.
The event occurred on Thursday after a violent outburst at an otherwise calm march by tens of thousands of people protesting a controversial government pension reform plan. On that day, around one million people marched throughout French cities.
According to the French press, a 26-year-old engineer said he was pushed to the ground by an officer while capturing images of a clash between protestors and law enforcement. Another cop sprinted at the guy, striking his club squarely in his crotch.
Over the weekend, video of the event was widely shared online and broadcast on French television.
Chief of Police Laurent Nunez of Paris responded to growing public outcry over what looked to be a new incidence of alleged gratuitous brutality by French police by ordering an investigation into the incident’s specifics.
French media said that his lawyer, Lucie Simon, claimed a case for “voluntary assault by a person in power resulting to mutilation” was already underway on his behalf.
In an interview broadcast on France’s all-news channel BFM TV on Sunday, French government spokesperson Olivier Veran remarked, “my thoughts are obviously with this person.”
Complaints about the disproportionate use of force by French law enforcement personnel are nothing new. Unions for police officers have complained that their members are frequently assaulted by the same people they are sworn to protect.
The brutal assault on Black music producer Michel Zecler by three Paris police officers in 2020 as he exited his studio prompted some changes. A magistrate was appointed last year to lead a new body that probes complaints of police brutality. Formerly, the unit was commanded by police officers.
We have nothing to fear from greater transparency,” French President Emmanuel Macron said when he ordered reforms to be implemented in 2021.
In the same year, lawmakers in France enacted a “global security law” to give police more authority. The most contentious provision was changed to make it illegal to identify security personnel “with the manifest goal of attacking their physical or psychological integrity This provision had previously restricted video or other photographs of security officials.