Paris police 'stripped, beat' delinquant driver

27th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 27 (AFP) - A French judge was Friday investigating claims that four police officers beat a suspect, pulled off his pants, and photographed him with a hubcap stuck between his buttocks after a car chase.

PARIS, Feb 27 (AFP) - A French judge was Friday investigating claims that four police officers beat a suspect, pulled off his pants, and photographed him with a hubcap stuck between his buttocks after a car chase.

The four were Thursday put under criminal investigation and suspended of their functions pending the outcome of the probe, which is one step short of charges being laid.

Three of the officers were accused of excessive violence towards the suspect, a 27-year-old man who drove his car into three policemen, injuring them, when they tried to pull him over during a vehicle check on February 19.

The third, the head of a Paris police station, was accused of doing nothing to stop his underlings.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and the senior police hierarchy said such behaviour was unacceptable.

Sarkozy said Thursday that he was seeking punishment that would make an example of the officers if they were found guilty.

The Paris police headquarters issued a statement saying that the police involved "appeared to have committed illegitimate violence towards an apprehended person."

According to sources close the investigation, a preliminary two-day inquiry by a police internal affairs division concluded that at least a dozen officers had watched the suspect be beaten by the three officers after they managed to force his car off the road.

The suspect's claims that his pants were pulled down to his ankles and a hubcap forced between his buttocks while he was lying handcuffed on the ground was backed up by witness testimony, despite denials by the three officers, the inquiry found.

A cassette of the police video that is usually taken during such arrests was said to have been ordered destroyed by senior officers, along with image files on the camera-equipped mobile phones that some of the officers used.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

 

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