A Cop Got Turned Into A Meme After Kicking A Student During A Protest
French social media users are furious after a photographer managed to capture the moment a police officer kicked a young woman.
This photo was taken at a protest in Paris on Thursday. Photographer Jan Schmidt-Whitley managed to capture the moment a police officer with the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS) kicked a student protester during a demonstration.
Tamara, the young woman in the photo, is a 24-year-old theater student at a Paris conservatory.
She told BuzzFeed News that she wasn't actually a protester and was just sitting at a nearby cafe.
"The students eventually charged after being blocked for 40 minutes by the CRS," she said. "[The police] launched their tear gas without thinking about the people on the terrace."
Tamara said she yelled at the officers, saying they were attacking everyone indiscriminately. That's when the officer kicked her.
When Schmidt-Whitley shared the photo on Facebook, it quickly went viral. Users were horrified.
The hashtag #PoseTonCRS, or "pose your CRS," went viral on Twitter in response. As a form of protest, people started photoshopping the cop in the picture into different memes.
They put the officer in other protests, like the fall of the Berlin Wall.
As well as famous paintings.
They also put the images into the video game Streets of Fury, which is pretty appropriate, to be honest.
But things also got sort of out of control.
Like really out of control.
"It's crazy, just a little beyond me, I admit," Schmidt-Whitley told BuzzFeed News. He described the protest as "savage" and said that at the time the photo was taken, the police had surrounded the protesters.
As for Tamara — the woman kicked in the original photo — she said that she actually didn't end up going to the hospital.
"Firefighters came an hour later," she said. "I had a stomachache, but I refused to go to the hospital because I had to take an important test that afternoon."
Tamara said this isn't the first time something like this has happened and it's not the first time it's been captured on camera, but she's optimistic about the response it got on social media and hopes it will prevent police brutality in the future.
"This is not the first time we've seen videos of them hitting kids," she said. "More complaints will make a difference."