Macron’s office launches dismissal proceedings against security aide

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Politico reports that French President Emmanuel Macron’s office launched dismissal proceedings on Friday against security aide Alexandre Benalla after video emerged of him assaulting a demonstrator during a street protest on May 1.

According to French daily Le Monde, the Elysée presidential palace said in a statement that Benalla had come into possession of “a document belonging to the Paris police headquarters that he was not authorized to obtain.”

Benalla has reportedly been placed in custody, after the Paris prosecutor’s office on Thursday launched an investigation on suspicions of use of violence, usurping the function of a police officer and using symbols reserved for public authorities.

The scandal ignited on Wednesday, after Le Monde published video footage of Benalla, wearing street clothes and a police visor, assaulting a protester during pro-labor demonstrations on May 1. Benalla was Macron’s security chief during his presidential campaign and later became an assistant chief of staff at the Elysée.

Earlier:  (AP) A top security aide for President Emmanuel Macron, caught on camera beating a protester, has been detained and is being questioned by authorities, while the president’s office has begun the process of firing him following a public backlash.

The fast-moving events followed a day of fierce criticism after the newspaper Le Monde identified Alexandre Benalla as the man wearing a police helmet and beating a young protester on May Day. Questions about whether Macron’s cohorts are above the law were virulently raised in parliament on Thursday.

The presidential Elysee Palace said Thursday that Benalla had been authorized to follow police operations as an observer on his day off. He was suspended for two weeks and given a desk job. However, he maintained his office at the presidential palace.

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