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 Dettingers 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 Galous 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 Macrons 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.
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.
Yo! This dude fighting the cops is a former PRO BOXER.
Christophe Dettinger – His record was 18 wins 4 losses. Wow. https://t.co/6Y3CaW2jZ9
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) January 7, 2019
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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