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Growing Crisis for Macron: Bodyguard Beats a Protester

Alexandre Benalla has been fired, and police raided his home Saturday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2018 9:30 AM CDT
In this file photo, Emmanuel Macron, right, is flanked by his bodyguard, Alexandre Benalla, left background.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
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(Newser) – Paris prosecutor's office says investigators have raided the house of one of French President Emmanuel Macron's top security aides, who was caught on camera beating a protester in May. The presidential Elysee Palace fired Alexandre Benalla a day before police raided his home Saturday morning in the Parisian suburb of Issy-Les-Moulineaux. Benalla was identified earlier this week by the Le Monde newspaper for beating a young protester during May Day protests while wearing a police helmet, per the AP.

He and a second man are facing potential charges and are in police custody until Sunday. Benalla's involvement in the beating is turning into Macron's biggest political crisis since taking office last year. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb will face questions from parliament next week to see if there were failures in the government's handling of the controversy. Two big questions: Why was Benalla wearing police gear, and why didn't real officers stop him? Here is how CNN describes the incident: "The video shows Benalla lifting a protester off the ground by his neck and covering the man's mouth before striking him over the head with his fist." The video is here.

(Read more Emmanuel Macron stories.)

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