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Paris police obtain video footage of gay rights activist’s murder

Paris police obtain video footage of gay rights activist’s murder

PARIS — Investigators say they have obtained surveillance video that captured the fatal clash between skinheads and gay rights activist Clement Meric earlier this month.

Meric, a student at the prestigious Sciences-Po university, was killed in the brutal attack on June 5 after emerging from a Paris shop.

Clement Meric

Police said it was initially believed there were no CCTV images of the attack, but now acknowledge that a street surveillance camera managed to capture the incident.

The teenager was killed after an argument broke out when a group of left-wing activists met a gang of right-wing extremists. The confrontation escalated and Meric was punched unconscious; he was pronounced dead the following day.

According to a police source, the video shows Meric confronting his attacker. The attacker then turns and throws a punch, striking Meric in the face which knocked him unconscious.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said Meric immediately fell to the ground, and that video also shows Meric being kicked by several youths.

Esteban Morillo, in his 20s, was arrested in the aftermath of the fight along with four other skinheads including a 32-year-old woman.

Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office, said that Morillo will likely face manslaughter charges.

A vigil for Meric was attended by thousands of people two weeks ago.

“There is a discourse of hate and a climate that favors this discourse. We need to pay attention to this, because they threaten our values,” said French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who has vowed to eradicate a culture of violence which bears the mark of the extreme right.

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