'Yellow Vests' protests erupted across France for the sixth straight week and frayed tensions have pushed some police to the breaking point as at least one officer drew his firearm during violent clashes in Paris.
Video footage shows motorcycle troopers overwhelmed by protestors as tear gas canisters and projectiles fly near Champs-Élysées.
Some officers deploy pepper spray, while one draws his service weapon and aims it at the advancing crowd.
French officials have blasted the attack on police, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe tweeting, "Assaults of unprecedented violence against police officers . . . It is out of the question to trivialize such actions which must be the subject of unanimous condemnation and criminal sanctions."
However, footage depicting the moments leading up to the confrontation give broader context.
The officers in question can be seen throwing flashbang grenades toward a crowd who appear to be moving in a non-threatening fashion along Champs-Élysées.
Some in the throng react to the provocation, and eventually the officers are forced to flee amid a hail of flying objects.
Notably, many in the mob are not wearing yellow vests, indicating they may be opportunists capitalizing on the chaos.