French officials investigating video showing police beat down

Aug. 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

TOURS, France, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- French officials are investigating a possible incident of police brutality after a video of an officer apparently beating a woman went viral online.

The video, titled "Shame on the French police" had garnered 700,000 views on YouTube as of Tuesday afternoon, Radio France Internationale reported. The 8-minute video taken from a building overlooking the area shows a police officer on the street in the Tours suburb of Joue-les-Tours striking a woman with a baton multiple times, once in the face. He then returns to his squad car, retrieves a can of tear gas and sprays the woman and another bystander in the face.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he's referred the incident to the nation's police oversight arm.

"We need the whole truth and full transparency," Valls said. "The police must be irreproachable. The vast majority of police officers carry out difficult and remarkable work."

While the video has sparked outrage, some have noted it does not show the entirety of the altercation.

Reports indicate the officer was attempting to pull over the vehicle in which the woman was riding. The driver, a male, was suspected of driving drunk but was refusing to cooperate with sobriety tests when the woman intervened. Reports state the woman bit the officer multiple times prior to the officer using his baton.

After the tear gas was deployed, the video shows the woman and man lying on the pavement until more officers arrive, at which point they are taken away in a police car.

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