Saturday, 17 Nov 2018

Macron’s security aid scandal develops, after footage shows him beating a protester

The troubling images of a May demonstration in Paris begin with a man dressed in a black jacket, a gray hoodie and a police helmet pushing with force a woman in the street, right hand tight around the neck

two disappear from the frame, the camera shows a group of police dragging a young man in the street. Another man in what appears to be civilian clothes is fighting the demonstrator, who is now on his knees. Then the first man in the black jacket reappears, approaching the man kneeling from behind, grabs by the neck and tears at the group. Then he beats him.

The video, which circulated on social networks, was recorded at a workers' demonstration in May and this week the French newspaper Le Monde identified the double-skinned man Alexandre Benalla, security assistant of French President Emmanuel Macron. This identification sparked a series of questions, including what Benalla was doing at the protest to begin with, why he beat the protesters, and if his superiors knew about it and did not respond appropriately. On Monday, French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb will have to respond to some of them as Parliament plans to scold him for knowing whether the government has mismanaged the incident.

The incident and its aftermath became a political scandal French investigators attacked Benalla's home in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, a suburb of Paris

Collomb is accused of being aware of Benalla's behavior and did not take the appropriate measures. Benalla, 26, was suspended for two weeks at the time, but has been involved in many large-scale events since then. (The BBC reports that he worked as a bodyguard for Macron during his campaign and was later hired by the chief of staff of the president.)

Following the outcry aroused by the published images this week, the Élysée dismissed it on Friday. Benalla was taken into custody on Friday with another bodyguard, Vincent Crase, who would also appear in video footage of the May demonstration and previously worked for Macron's political party

. He was also detained for questioning about knowing he had provided Benalla with security videos that he hoped to prove innocent.

As reported by James McAuley in the Washington Post, Benalla is not a policeman but wears a visor. made it look like one. The World reported that he had asked for a day off in early May to "observe" the workers' day protest, but the images that emerged this week give the impression that the day was coming. he did much more than just observe. Collomb said that he "strongly condemned" the behavior of Benalla and Crash.

But the incident caused an embarrassing silence on the part of Macron as his government wondered if an Elysee employee was receiving special treatment to avoid legal trouble. Macron does not explain, the case Benalla will become the case Macron, "far right politician Marine Le Pen tweeted .

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