Article originally published in French on Franc Inter, 5 April 2020 – accessible here

How are police controls during lockdown? In recent days, videos have been posted on social networks showing or reporting brutal arrests filmed in Asnières, Grigny, Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, or Torcy. These videos show police officers kicking, punching or tackling a man. Witnesses report clear evidence of police violence.

The Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) and other organisations, such as the Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins en France (ATMF), Human Rights Watch and the Syndicat des Avocats de France (SAF), refer to videos “showing residents allegedly beaten, gassed”, even though these people did not seem to oppose “either violence or resistance to the forces of law and order” in a press release of 27 March. “The state of health emergency must not be in breach of the rule of law and cannot justify discriminatory controls or unjustified or disproportionate use of force,” the statement said. Contacted by France Inter, the Information and Communication Service of the National Police (SICoP) specifies that it does not “comment on current cases”. Also contacted by France Inter for the two cases that concern it, in Aubervilliers and Aulnay-sous-Bois, the Paris Police Prefecture announced that an investigation was going to be opened following the complaint filed by Sofiane for the brutal police control he reports having been a victim of in Aulnay.

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