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.
"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.