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Belmondo and French Policeman Face Charges after Violent Incident

May 13, 1963 - Jean-Paul Belmondo, the movie actor (“Breathless”), was charged in Paris today with having insulted a policeman, and the policeman, in turn, was charged with having struck Mr. Belmondo (pictured after the incident in April). The action of the examining magistrate, René Auruc, was a surprise to a public unaccustomed to seeing the French police called to judicial account for its actions against individuals. Charges of police brutality are frequent in France, but the opportunity for a day in court by the alleged victims is rare. The police force has acquired a reputation for being a law unto itself, and its relations with the public are, at best, extremely cool. Mr. Belmondo, who is noted for his tough-guy roles in French films, got into trouble by trying to help a motorcyclist who had been knocked down by a car. After watching the police, who arrived on the scene a few moments later, take detailed notes on the accident, Mr. Belmondo suggested that it would do better to get the badly injured man to a hospital. The argument became heated. It was suddenly ended when Mr. Belmondo was knocked unconscious by a blow from behind. He was taken to the local police station and released a few hours later.

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