One of President Emmanuel Macron’s top security officials has been suspended after he was filmed beating a protester while illegally wearing a police visor in Paris. Alexandre Benalla was a senior member of security at the Élysée Palace. In the footage, he is seen dragging a woman before hitting and stamping on a young man
President Emmanuel Macron of France is facing calls to fire a senior aide at the Elysée after prosecutors launched an investigation over a film of him beating up a protester.
The film shows Alexandre Benalla – in charge of Mr Macron’s security during his electoral campaign last year and now assistant to the president’s chief of staff – in a police helmet and armband but no uniform joining CRS riot police at a protest on 1 May.
The incident took place in a popular tourist spot at Place de la Contrescarpe in the fifth district of Paris.
In the film shot by a student activist, he grabs a woman by the neck, charging her down the street. Shortly afterwards he returns to the scene, drags a young man along the floor, grabs him by the neck and hits him.
Riot police present do not intervene to stop him.
The Paris prosecutor on Thursday launched a preliminary probe into “violence by a person with a public service mission, usurping a function and usurping signs reserved for public authority”.