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(AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

French President's Aide Seen In Police Helmet Beating Man

July 19, 2018 - 5:11 am
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By ELAINE GANLEY ,  Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — A security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron has been seen in a video wearing a police helmet and beating up a student protester. His punishment — a two-week suspension — has brought criticism down on Macron.

Responding to public backlash, the president's spokesman said on Monday that the suspension without pay and change in responsibilities for Alexandre Benalla was the "most serious" ever given at the presidential palace.

In addition, a judicial official said a preliminary investigation has been opened for "violence by someone charged with a public service mission" among other things. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

The video of the May 1 event shows Benalla dragging off a woman then beating a young man on the ground.