Video shows Paris police punching handcuffed suspect
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French police have come under fire after a video has emerged of an officer punching a handcuffed suspected drug dealer in the face in a Paris suburb.
The shocking video, which was uploaded to Facebook, shows a police unit arresting a man on October 16. The man, suspected of being a drug dealer, is pinned to the ground by the officers in the suburb of Chanteloup-les-Vignes. Despite being handcuffed, the man is dragged to a police car, and then punched in the face.
Throughout the ordeal, the suspect does not appear to put up any resistance. A passer-by remonstrates with the police officers, protesting that the use of force seems excessive. An officer orders the passerby to step away, before his colleague fires a warning shot from the non-lethal hand-held weapon, Flash-ball.
Intervention musclée de la BAC dans le 78, qui tire au flash-ball sur des jeunes.Posté par L'info du jour/the info day sur vendredi 23 octobre 2015
The unit’s anti-crime division claimed to have found three bricks of cocaine and 2,500 euros in cash in a building nearby. According to French daily ‘Le Parisien’, the unit justified its behaviour on the grounds that the suspected drug dealer had reacted violently against two officers, leaving one with a heel injury and another with facial injuries. The police also defended the policeman's decision to fire a Flash-ball, blaming it on ‘the hostile attitude of a group from the neighbourhood’. Yet there does not appear to be any such group in the video.
The suspected drug dealer has since pressed charges against the police. On Monday, the IGPN, the body that oversees France’s police force, said it was investigating the incident.