FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show French Police Throwing Handcuffs On The Ground To Protest Coronavirus Restrictions?

Varun Hukeri | General Assignment & Analysis Reporter

A video shared on Facebook more than 250 times purportedly shows French police throwing their handcuffs on the ground to protest coronavirus restrictions enacted by the French government.

Verdict: False

The video was filmed during a demonstration in June against more stringent regulations on law enforcement introduced by the French government.

Fact Check:

The video depicts law enforcement officers throwing handcuffs on the ground near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In the caption, the Facebook user describes the video as depicting “French police RESISTANCE to Macron’s corona dictatorship.”

The video depicts a protest against French police reforms, not coronavirus restrictions. Multiple credible news outlets reported the incident took place June 12. Video footage of the demonstrations uploaded to YouTube depicts French police and supporters gathered near the Arc de Triomphe. (RELATED: Did Black Lives Matter Protests Bankrupt These Four Cities?)

French police gathered for demonstrations in June at the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris to protest new regulations on policing introduced by Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and opposed by police unions, Reuters reported. The reforms introduced by Castaner included ending the use of chokehold arrests and increasing the use of body cameras. In the video being shared, people can be heard shouting, “Démission Castaner,” which roughly translates to “Resign Castaner.”

The French police reform measures in early June came as demonstrations were occurring in the U.S. following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd in police custody on May 25. A number of countries including France experienced demonstrations and clashes with law enforcement after Floyd’s death.

Varun Hukeri

General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Follow Varun on Twitter


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