This 19 July 2018 South Korean TV video says about itself:
French President Emmanuel Macron is in hot water after one of his aides, dressed as a police officer, was filmed beating a student demonstrator in Paris.
Alexandre Benalla, assistant to the president’s chief of staff, is now under investigation by French prosecutors and could face a slew of charges, including violence by a public official and illegal use of police insignia.
The video was taken during the May Day protests and revealed by the French newspaper Le Monde on Wednesday. In the clip, Benalla can be seen dragging a woman down the street, grabbing her by the neck. He then goes back and drags a man along the floor before hitting him.
By Francis Dubois in France:
Benalla affair destabilises Macron government in France
31 July 2018
For the first time since becoming president a year ago, Emmanuel Macron is confronting a media and parliamentary campaign, triggered by the “Benalla affair”, which is destabilising both him and his ruling party, The Republic on the March (LRM). Last week, the pressure on Macron, who has refused to speak publicly on the affair, reached a new peak.
The affair began on July 19, when Le Monde identified a close collaborator [Deputy Chief of Staff] of the president, Alexandre Benalla, captured on video violently beating demonstrators on May Day in Paris. Violations of normal police procedure have since been tied directly to Macron’s personal security staff and to high-level officials of the Parisian police, notably those tasked with “managing” political demonstrations.
At present, Macron faces a counteroffensive from sections of the police apparatus that have publicly reproached him for improper interference in their operations. The prefect of Paris, speaking before a parliamentary commission established on Friday, denounced the “unacceptable, condemnable outgrowth of unhealthy cronyism.”
Benalla, Fabien Crase—the head of security for LRM—and three top police officials connected to them have been placed under investigation. Benalla was sacked by the Elysée presidential palace on charges of “public violence” the day after Le Monde‘s revelations. Crase was sacked for the same charge.
Macron on Tuesday refused to respond publicly after deputies and leaders of political parties requested that he testify before a parliamentary commission of inquiry. Some raised the possibility of impeaching the president, which has never taken place before in the history of the French Republic.
… The Assembly and the Senate have sought to exploit the scandal to block Macron’s anti-democratic constitutional reform aimed at expanding presidential powers. …
The depositions of Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, the prefect of police and the director of public security were damaging to the presidency. The first two refused to take any responsibility and pointed the finger at Macron, and the third contradicted the declarations from the Elysée that the police had authorised Benalla to attend the demonstration.
One of the most persistent charges against Macron is that the Elysée is building a parallel police force—essentially an illegal militia—independent of the police apparatus that is normally responsible for the president’s security. Another is that, despite knowing about the events in question starting on May 2, neither the interior ministry nor the presidency alerted the public prosecutor, though they are required to do so by law.
Compromising revelations continue to emerge around Benalla. After having been “sanctioned” on May 2, according to the Elysée, he continued his functions as the head of presidential security and was afterward reportedly provided with exorbitant privileges for his role as a “project leader”, including a monthly salary approaching 10,000 euros. …
The more the Benalla affair exposes the illegal violence of the state apparatus targeting the population, the more aggressively the ruling elite rallies around the police forces.
The violence in Paris on May Day began when the police attacked a contingent of 1,200 masked members of the Black Bloc—which is known to be heavily infiltrated by police agents—who had inserted themselves into the demonstration. Large sections of the media and the political establishment denounced the protesters as “hooligans.” …
Macron let it be known that he could order the dissolution of the political organizations that were involved. On Twitter, he declared: “I condemn with absolute firmness the violence which took place and which diverted the protests of May 1. Everything will be done to ensure that the instigators are identified and held to account for their actions.”