President Macron’s 26-year-old “senior security aide” – whatever that may be – was filmed violently abusing demonstrators in Paris. For 2½ months Macron’s office apparently tried to cover it up. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful.
Lawyers can do wonders, and it remains to be seen if and how they seek to make it all end as fireless smoke.
And yet, whether this man will be found guilty or not is not the main issue. Deriving satisfaction and even pleasure from exercising violence is – as we have learnt over history – much more common than we would like to think and most of us like to have. Law enforcers can often do so with the formal or informal backing of their colleagues.
France is not alone. Despite our commitment to human rights and to the rule of law, we are regularly confronted with the ugly face of supposedly lawful aggression by agents of the state. This is going to become an even more pressing issue, as our countries are moving right.