Amateur footage of French police 'brutality' - Mediapart has second video


A police officer has been filmed striking a woman with his baton and spraying her and another person in the face with tear gas. The interior minister has announced an inquiry, while police unions have played down the affair. They say the officer had been bitten and that events that took place before the filming of the video, which was posted on YouTube, support his actions. But Mediapart has now obtained a second video showing what had occurred earlier and which raises doubts about the police version of the incident. Louise Fessard reports.

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An amateur video showing a police officer hitting a woman with his baton and then spraying her and another woman with tear gas (see video below) has caused controversy in France. The interior minister Manuel Valls says an investigation has already begun into the incident that occurred in a deprived area of Joué-les-Tours near Tours in central western France at 7am on Sunday.A local resident used his camera phone to capture the moment just after a man had been stopped by two officers for alleged drunk driving and started to resist arrest. The video, which was posted on YouTube with the title 'Shame on the French police', shows one of the policemen using his police baton to strike a woman who tried to intervene, then spraying her full in the face with a tear gas cannister. A second woman trying to help the arrested man is also seen being sprayed in the face with tear gas.