French President Emmanuel Macron has said footage showing Paris police attacking a black man was “unacceptable” and “shameful”.
An investigation has been launched into the violent arrest of Michel Zecler, a music producer who says he was racially abused by officers on Saturday.
The incident was captured on CCTV and mobile footage, and was circulated widely.
The officers involved have been suspended and are currently being held for questioning, according to the Paris Prosecutor’s Office.
The police watchdog are also looking into the case.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Mr Macron said the government needed to restore public confidence in the police.
“The images we have all seen of the aggression against Michel Zecler are unacceptable, they are shameful for all of us,” he said.
“France should never allow violence or brutality, no matter who it comes from.
“France should never let hate or racism prosper.”
The French president added that the country’s police should lead at the forefront and by example.
“Those whose job it is to apply the law should respect the law,” he said.
Footage of the incident shows officers following Mr Zecler inside his music studio, where he is punched and beaten with a truncheon.
Mr Zecler told reporters on Thursday he had been walking around nearby without a face mask – against French COVID-19 health protocols – and upon seeing a police car, went into his music studio to avoid getting a fine.
However, the police allegedly followed him inside and attacked him.
“I was lucky enough, unlike many other people, to have had the video that protects me,” Zecler told reporters on Thursday.
The incident risks inflaming racial tensions in Paris, in the backdrop of repeated allegations of police brutality against black and other ethnic minority people and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dominique Sopo, president of the anti-racism group SOS Racisme said Mr Zecler was the target of a “racist attack”.
He said: “For police officers to act that way, they must have a tremendous feeling of impunity.
“This situation is a symptom of an impunity that has been going on for too long.”
The city’s police force has already faced criticism this week after people posted videos on social media of police hitting demonstrators as they cleared a migrant camp in central Paris on Monday.
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