France: ′Yellow vest′ boxer arrested for punching policeman | News | DW | 07.01.2019
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France: 'Yellow vest' boxer arrested for punching policeman

A 37-year-old man who punched a police officer during a 'yellow vest' protest has been arrested. The man could face up to three years in prison and more than €40,000 in fines.

An ex-professional boxer who was filmed punching a police officer in central Paris during a "yellow vest" demonstration was arrested on Monday. The man reportedly turned himself in to police and is currently in custody.

French media showed the shocking images of a heavily built man delivering several punches on a policeman, who then fell to the ground and was kicked by protesters wearing yellow vests.

The incident occurred just a few hundred meters away from the national parliament building.

"Sir, you knocked a colleague to the ground. You have been identified," France's SCPN police union said in a tweet, which also showed a picture of the man.

"For a boxer, apparently you don't respect any of the rules. You are going to learn those of the criminal code," the tweet read.

The man was identified by French media as 37-year-old Christophe D., a former heavyweight professional boxer who reportedly works for the local government in the Essonne area south of Paris.

France's boxing federation issued a statement condemning the act, saying that it "ran completely contrary to the values of our sport."

Read more: Emmanuel Macron and the 'yellow vests': Can they cooperate?

Attacking and injuring a police officer in France could land Christophe D. in jail for up to three years. He would also be facing a fine of €45,000 ($51,000), though sentencing varies depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Some 50,000 protesters participated in the latest yellow vest demonstrations on Saturday in cities all over France. The protests, mainly in opposition to the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron, ended in violence in Paris and Bordeaux.

Read more: France's 'yellow vests' and the Russian trolls that encourage them

Macron condemned the violence during the demonstrations on twitter. "Once again an extreme violence has attacked the Republic – its guardians, its representatives, its symbols," Macron wrote. The French president promised that justice "will be done."

jcg/rt (AP, AFP)

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