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7 Jan, 2019 18:57

‘Continue the fight’: French boxer who punched police officer urges Yellow Vests to keep going

‘Continue the fight’: French boxer who punched police officer urges Yellow Vests to keep going

The former boxer who repeatedly punched an officer during a Yellow Vest protest in Paris and was later detained, has defended his actions online. In a video posted on social media, he calls himself a “normal citizen.”

The video was uploaded by Gaelle Galou, who identified herself as boxer Christophe Dettinger’s sister-in-law and said that he was “not a criminal,” but “just a yellow vest trying to defend his country for the future of his children!” Dettinger was identified by police after footage of him pummeling the officer went viral over the weekend.

In Galou’s video, Dettinger, who is a former light heavyweight champion, declares himself a Yellow Vest and says that he has “the anger of the people within” him. The Yellow Vest protests began in November 2018, initially against a proposed fuel tax hike, later growing into a wider movement against the economic policies of President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Explaining his brawl with the police officer, Dettinger said he had previously been “gassed” with his friend and his wife and that the anger had “mounted” in him before he lashed out. He also said he had participated in multiple Yellow Vest protests before that incident during which he saw police hurting citizens, including seeing “pensioners get gassed.” Dettinger was also identified repeatedly kicking an officer in a separate video.

READ MORE: Yellow Vest protester caught pummeling riot cop revealed to be ex-champion boxer (VIDEO)

The former champion, who has since been detained by police, describes himself as a “normal citizen” who has watched French politicians “gorging themselves” on the backs of average people. “I am French, I am proud to be French, I am not extreme left, I'm not extreme right, I'm a citizen. I love my country, I love my homeland,” he says.

“Yes, I reacted badly, but I defended myself,” the boxer explains, before becoming visibly upset and calling on French citizens to continue their anti-government protests. “French people, Yellow Vests, I am wholeheartedly with you, we must continue the fight peacefully, please,” he says.

In the viral video, Dettinger is seen repeatedly punching an officer who is wielding a baton and shield and fully kitted out in riot gear. While some, including government officials, criticized Dettinger for the incident and for using violence, others hailed him a hero, saying that he had simply given officers a taste of their own medicine.

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