French football stars speak against racism after police assault music producer


French football internationals have taken to Twitter to condemn the brutality of a music producer in France by French police, via Goal.

The footage went viral on social media on Thursday morning and sparked outrage in France, where members of parliament recently voted in a new law to increase police powers.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, and Premier League duo of Benjamin Mendy and Alexander Lacazette all took to social media to condemn the act.

Mbappe posted a note on Twitter alongside a picture of Michel after being assaulted.

“Unbearable video, unacceptable violence. My France has values, principles and codes … My France for me does not live in lies. With heart and rage in the light, not in the shadows.

“My France to me, is a mixture, it’s a rainbow. She bothers you, I know, because she doesn’t want you as a role model.

Stop racism.”

Griezmann, meanwhile, shared the video with the message: “My France hurts.”

Mendy quoted the video with “Without the videos what would have happened to Michel? We would have preferred to believe the version of the police under oath?”

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette quoted the tweet with angry emojis.

There are now calls for France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin to take strong action. The minister confirmed that an investigation has been launched, while the three officers involved have been suspended.

The incident was caught by CCTV on the premises and shows the officers – two in uniform and one in plain clothes – punching him on the head and hitting him with a baton. 

Michel also claims he heard several racial slurs throughout the encounter.

“I was afraid. I thought it was my last day,” he added. “I kept saying: ‘I haven’t done anything’, and they kept shouting for me to get down on the ground.”

After the officers were bundled out of the building by Michel and others who came to help, they smashed a window and threw a teargas canister through it. 

Michel was arrested and held for 48 hours before he was released without charge.

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