French Police Caught on Tape Saying to ‘Shoot’ Yellow Vests

Police officers walk amidst the teargas after firing it during a demonstration by yellow vest protestors in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal …
AP Photo/Michel Euler

An investigation has been launched in Tolouse after officers were caught on tape saying they wanted to “shoot” violent Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) protesters.

The footage comes from the Yellow Vest protest on Saturday, January 12th, where protesters and hooligans clashed with police for nearly 16 hours and was recorded at the police command room where officers were watching the scenes of violence unfold on several monitors, broadcaster France 3 reports.

Several officers are heard in the recording including both female and male officers with one male officer saying, “The fuckers! There’s one on the ground there,” and another commenting, “What a bunch of bastards!”

A female officer is then heard saying, “we have to shoot!” to which another male officer replies, “When I tell you to, line up two or three rounds.”

While the video was recorded on January 12th, it was not released until January 31st by the Vigi police union which commented on the audio saying “the words of the policemen have exceeded their thoughts,” and that the officers reacted out of surprise and shock at the video feed they were watching.

The Haute-Garonne prefecture released a statement announcing an investigation saying, “This scene of rare violence provoked the emotion of people watching these images live, resulting in spontaneous comments.

“The Departmental Directorate immediately opened an administrative investigation for breach of professional secrecy and concealment, so that all light is shed on these facts.”

The leaked recording comes after police have been criticised for their tactics during the Yellow Vest protests, in particular, the use of “flashball” ammunition which is thought to be responsible for some of the most serious injuries.

French doctors have also spoken out about the injuries suffered by Yellow Vest protesters saying that the number of serious injuries, which have included several losing eyes and hands, has been unprecedented.

The theme of police brutality and violence was highlighted in the most recent “Act XII” protest with Yellow Vests denouncing police tactics.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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