Jul 19, 2018

French President’s Aide Is Seen Beating a Protester

Emmanuel Macron faces criticism after one of his security aides, shown in a video wearing a police helmet and pummeling a student, receives only a two-week suspension as punishment.

PARIS—A security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron has been seen in a video wearing a police helmet and beating up a student protester. His punishment — a two-week suspension — has brought criticism down on Macron.

Responding to public backlash, the president’s spokesman said on Monday that the suspension without pay and change in responsibilities for Alexandre Benalla was the “most serious” ever given at the presidential palace.

In addition, a judicial official said a preliminary investigation has been opened for “violence by someone charged with a public service mission” among other things. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

The video of the May 1 event shows Benalla dragging off a woman then beating a young man on the ground.

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