A video of a policeman assaulting a woman in handcuffs has been shared with the claim that a French policeman arrested a young Muslim girl and forcefully removed her headscarf. 

The video was posted by Twitter user @HaiderAslam13 and several others. (archived link)

(Warning: Video may be distressing for some. Viewer discretion is advised.)

The clip is widely circulating on Facebook as well. Additionally, Alt News received several requests to fact-check the claim on our WhatsApp helpline (+917600011160) and on our official Android application.

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It has also been shared with a similar Malayalam caption on Facebook — “ഫ്രഞ്ച് പോലീസ് മുസ്ലീം പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയോടുകാണിച്ച ക്രൂരകൃത്യം കണ്ടോളൂ.”

French teacher Samuel Paty’s beheading by a Muslim fundamentalist and a subsequent attack in Nice that took three lives have built animosity toward the country’s Muslim population. Since then, several false claims of an increase in violence against Muslims in France were shared on social media. Alt News recently debunked two such videos  — one from Russia and another from Brazil.

Fact-check

Alt News performed a reverse image search on Google using the browser extension InVID and found that the screengrabs from the video were used in multiple news reports — Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Thirty-Mile Zone (TMZ) and DE24 News in October.

On October 26, CBC reported that the video is from 2017. Calgary police officer 34-year-old Alex Dunn threw 26-year-old Dalia Kafi on the ground with her hands still cuffed behind her back, according to CBC. It added that Dunn, who is in a trial for assault, testified that he thought Kafi had slipped out of her handcuffs and didn’t mean to pull her to the floor. The report also stated, “In December 2017, Dunn arrested Dalia Kafi for breaching her court-imposed curfew and obstruction of justice after she gave him a fake name when the car she’d been travelling in was pulled over by police.”

Another Canadian news website Global News reported, “Dunn was charged in 2019 at which time he was suspended with pay, but is back working with the Calgary Police Service.”

While the reports say that the officer assaulted a Black woman, Kafi’s religion has not been specified.

A video from 2017 from Canada, which was revived in 2020, has been shared on the Indian social media ecosystem with the false claim that a Muslim woman was assaulted by a French police officer.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel at WION as a trainee journalist, at S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer and at The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.