12:53 GMT +313 November 2019
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    French President Emmanuel Macron, flanked by Alexandre Benalla, French presidential aide, carries a racquet as he leaves his home to play tennis in Le Touquet, France, June 17, 2017. Picture taken June 17, 2017

    Macron Scolded for 'Covering' for Security Aide Who Beat May Day Protester

    © REUTERS / Philippe Wojazer
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    While left-wing politicians launch stinging tirades against Macron, police have launched a preliminary investigation, as no report has been filed about the presidential aide's violence during the May 1 street marches.

    French President Emmanuel Macron was criticized after his office had given a two-week suspension to his senior security aide, who was filmed beating a protester in early May.

    READ MORE: Prosecutors Launch Probe Into Macron's Aide Over Attack on Protester — Reports

    "This video is shocking. Today we have the feeling that in Macron's entourage one is above the law," Laurent Wauquiez, president of the left-wing Les Republicains party, told Europe 1 radio on Thursday.

    "If we accept that anybody can be a policeman alongside the police then we no longer have the rule of law," Jean-Luc Melenchon, a left-wing French MP, told reporters. "This man is the eyes and ears of the prince [Macron]."

    The video was published by Le Monde on Wednesday evening, showing Alexandre Benalla, a senior member of the president's security staff, during a trade union-led May Day demonstration in Paris. Benalla, who was wearing a police helmet, is seen dragging a woman, and then striking and stamping on a protester.

    According to Macron's spokesman, Benalla got away with a 15-day suspension. However, Macron's office apparently hasn't reported the act of violence to law enforcement authorities as he is seen in multiple photos in the media alongside his president during public events and reportedly was in charge of security at the parade that marked France's World Cup victory along the Champs-Elysées.

    The French media reported on Thursday that police are now investigating the aide, who risks facing charges of violence by a public official as well as illegally using signs of public authorities.

    demonstration, investigation, violence, police, criticism, May Day, Alexandre Benalla, Emmanuel Macron, Paris, France
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