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03:58

France: Trial begins for police officer charged with hurling cobblestone at Yellow Vest protesters

France, Paris
November 22, 2019 at 10:24 GMT +00:00 · Published

A French police officer, charged with hurling cobblestone at Yellow Vest protesters during a rally, appeared in a Paris court on Thursday, becoming the first French policeman to face trial following allegations of police excessive use of force during the ongoing anti-government protests, reports say.

Footage shows journalists standing outside the courtroom, as representatives of police unions and the lawyer of the defendant give statements.

Yves Lefebvre, Secretary General of the SGP Police Union, said, "This is a guerrilla stage, these people [protesters] are in the streets at 6a.m. operating in a hostile environment with Black Blocks and radicalised yellow vests, I call them criminals who could hurt very badly."

Laurent Boguet, the defendant's lawyer, said that his client was satisfied with the requisition, adding, "videos could clarify many things, that that day was dreadful for police."

The 44-year-old officer has reportedly been caught on camera hurling the stone at protesters during the May 1 demonstrations. The video does not make it clear whether the stone ended up inflicting injuries to any of the protesters, reports say. If convicted, the officer risks up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000 ($49,739).

03:58
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A French police officer, charged with hurling cobblestone at Yellow Vest protesters during a rally, appeared in a Paris court on Thursday, becoming the first French policeman to face trial following allegations of police excessive use of force during the ongoing anti-government protests, reports say.

Footage shows journalists standing outside the courtroom, as representatives of police unions and the lawyer of the defendant give statements.

Yves Lefebvre, Secretary General of the SGP Police Union, said, "This is a guerrilla stage, these people [protesters] are in the streets at 6a.m. operating in a hostile environment with Black Blocks and radicalised yellow vests, I call them criminals who could hurt very badly."

Laurent Boguet, the defendant's lawyer, said that his client was satisfied with the requisition, adding, "videos could clarify many things, that that day was dreadful for police."

The 44-year-old officer has reportedly been caught on camera hurling the stone at protesters during the May 1 demonstrations. The video does not make it clear whether the stone ended up inflicting injuries to any of the protesters, reports say. If convicted, the officer risks up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000 ($49,739).

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