Macron Aide Given Initial Charges Over Beating May Day Protester

AFP/Getty Images

French authorities have handed preliminary charges to one of President Emmanuel Macron’s top security aides after he was captured on video beating a protester in May.

The charges came after French authorities opened a judicial investigation Sunday of the assault, which has sparked the first major political crisis for Macron since he took office last year.

A judge handed Alexandre Benalla multiple charges on Sunday night. They included violence, interfering in the exercise of public office and the unauthorized public display of official insignia.

The video made public by Le Monde newspaper on Wednesday showed Benalla wearing a police helmet at the May Day protest. He is not a police officer.

Four others were also charged: Vincent Crase, who worked for Macron’s party and was with Benalla on the day of the protest, and three police officers who were suspected of illegally passing footage from the event to Benalla.

Crase was handed preliminary charges of violence and prohibited possession of a weapon.

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