French police investigate reports of decorated officer filmed punching protesters

"Yellow vest" demonstrators march in Paris on Saturday

(CNN)French police are investigating reports that a highly decorated officer threw punches at protesters during yellow vest demonstrations over the weekend.

A video widely circulated on social media appears to show policeman Didier Andrieux, who was awarded the Legion of Honor -- the country's highest accolade -- approaching a protester standing against a wall before punching him repeatedly. In the video, allegedly filmed in Toulon on Saturday, the police officer then approached other Gilets Jaunes protesters and punched them.
A spokeswoman for the national police told CNN that Andrieux had been sanctioned in the past for "violent behavior" and that an investigation has been opened into his actions.
    The prefect of Var, the region where the alleged attack took place, tweeted that he has asked for an investigation. "As part of my administrative responsibilities, I have asked the IGPN (Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale) for an investigation to shed light on the suspicion of police violence in #Toulon," tweeted Jean-Luc Videlaine.
    Meanwhile, a separate video went viral after another man was caught on camera throwing punches at French riot police on Saturday in Paris. He was later identified as a former professional boxer.
    Wearing all black, the man jumped over a barrier and repeatedly punched officers as they shielded themselves.
    Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted Monday that "the individual who violently attacked the policemen on the Senghor footbridge on Saturday has turned himself in to Paris investigators."