The police authorities in France have fired tear gas at the protesters rallying against a new security bill that aims to make it illegal to take video or a photo of police officers with malevolent intent. The situation escalated after the protesters threw stones and fireworks, the situation escalated, and clashes erupted.
Demonstrators, opposition, and rights activists have maintained that the new law curbs the press freedom to document police brutality in the country. On the other hand, the incumbent government has maintained that it aims to protect police officers from online abuse.
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Rallies were also held in several other cities across France on Saturday, including Nantes, Bordeaux, Montpellier, and Lile. Police authorities in the country had to face strong public anger after footage emerged that showed police racially profiling and beating a black musician.
The video footage that went viral on social media showed Michel Zeller, a music producer, being punched and kicked in his studio. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the incident and ordered an immediate inquiry.
Additionally, he has immediately asked for government proposals to rebuilt trust between the public and the police. Since the video emerged, the police officers involved have been dismissed from service. In a separate development, the government officials have asked the police to submit a detailed report after they dismantled a migrant camp in the capital.
According to the numbers provided by the French interior ministry, as many as 46,000 people gathered in the city of Paris. Even though the demonstrations were largely peaceful, a small group of protesters clashed with riot police. Authorities stated that they have arrested nearly 40 people, and some 20 police officers were injured in the clashes.
The protesters have called on the government to immediately withdraw the security bill, which according to them, undermines press freedom. But on Saturday, Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister of France, condemned the growing violence against police. Now, the bill awaits a Senate confirmation as the lower house passed it last week. Under the new law, the offenders could face up to a year in jail and more than $53,000 in fine.
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