“But the kids, who do they listen to? – “The dealers, Mr. President”: Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the police

“But the kids, who do they listen to? – “The dealers, Mr. President”: Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the police
“But the kids, who do they listen to? – “The dealers, Mr. President”: Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the police

“In none of them I felt resignation when they have sometimes gone through the worst in recent days. Their courage obliges us, ”confides Emmanuel Macron after a four-hour Parisian night getaway with the police. It is almost 1:30 this night from Monday to Tuesday, when the car of the President of the Republic returns to the Élysée Palace after an evening which, overall, passed without major clashes in the districts. As if the movement of anger was running out of steam, that order was gradually returning to the country after six days of chaos caused by the death of young Nahel in .

For his first field trip since this tragedy, it is therefore not in the heart of the cities – still under tension – that the Head of State wanted to reserve his words of encouragement and support, but with the agents of the public force, subjected to severe test for a week. An exit without fanfare (not the slightest camera invited and a presidential motorcade reduced to a minimum to ensure the greatest discretion in the capital), but with the firm intention of sending a message: “A message of confidence, determination state to support you. I understand the professionalism and the requirement that is yours. We are with you, ”says Emmanuel Macron shortly before 11 p.m., when he arrives at the Bessières barracks (17th century), where around a coffee are waiting for him around fifty police officers from the Bac, the BRI, the CRS, as well as gendarmes and firefighters from .

” How are you ? Are you holding up? »

A week ago, when he condemned the death of Nahel, the pill did not pass, however, for some of them who felt let down by the power in place, when the investigation had barely begun and justice has not passed yet. Even less this minute of silence in the National Assembly, perceived by the police as a letting go of the political class. “It was necessary to make a gesture, to show that without them the republican authority is nothing”, deciphers a confidant of the president. A recent survey has not escaped the Elysée: 57% of French people reiterate their confidence in the police according to Ifop for Le Figaro, despite recent events. Just like the amount of the kitty collected in just a few days for the family of the policeman who killed the shot calls out to the top of the state: more than a million euros.

So Monday evening, before going shortly after midnight to the video control center of the police headquarters (Ve), where hundreds of screens scan the 18,000 cameras installed in the capital and on the RATP network, Emmanuel Macron took the time to discuss with those who are daily confronted with violence in society. ” How are you ? Are you holding up? “, he undertakes, shaking hands with the Bessières barracks, accompanied by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin and the prefect of police of Paris Laurent Nuñez.

Easily, the dialogue settles. “In eleven years of exercise, I have never seen so many mortar fires. The first two evenings, they were used to kill us, that’s for sure,” a policeman returns to him. “The kids, we catch them, then the next day we find them in the street, there is a problem”, launches another. “We have multiplied the texts of laws. Now they have to be applied, ”replies the president firmly who, a few moments earlier, had engaged in an even more direct exchange in another place: a confidential tête-à-tête lasting more than an hour. with six Bac police officers in a brasserie located not far from Porte de and the ring road. First of the three stages of this night outing decided a few hours earlier in the day.

“We don’t scare them anymore”

A beer in hand, Macron listened to them as much as he asked questions. A meeting sometimes interspersed with a few seconds of white people who had difficulty in masking the discomfort felt by the men seated opposite him, and in over-equipped clothing. “Now, every time something happens, even a football match, we know it’s going to end like this. They take advantage of it to break. As for us, we no longer scare them, ”laments one of them. “And the call for parental responsibility, does that have an impact? “Asks the head of state. “Unfortunately not,” replied a policeman. His interlocutor wants to know more: “But the kids, who do they listen to then? “. “The dealers, Mr. President. They are the ones who have been asking them to calm down for two days, because all this mess is damaging their business. It’s been a week that the narcotics traffic does not turn.

A few minutes later, another tells how he is no longer surprised to see parents “stay in their armchairs and in front of their big screen paid for with drug money”, while the police arrive at their home to arrest their minor child. Then a colleague noted these increasingly violent young people, but also this “hatred of ” perceived on a daily basis, as the threat of incarceration which is no longer frightening: “Over there, in prison, they all the TV channels, do bodybuilding, then mass gain and come out transformed”, laments a policeman. Emmanuel Macron, he does not hide his perplexity: “During the riots of 2005, there was a message. There, I didn’t hear a message”, he admits in dismay, while emphasizing “that we have never done so much for the neighborhoods as in the last fifteen years”.

“We should be able to financially sanction the families on the first offense”

Suddenly, through the tinted window of the brasserie privatized for the occasion, a young person recognizes the president and waves to him. Smile and raised hand, the latter answers him. But the scene becomes grotesque when the boy in question is quickly identified by one of the “baqueux”. “Ah, he threw mortars at us two days ago! Discomfort around the table. Then comes the time to find solutions. “You have to hit the wallet, that’s the only thing that works”, suggests one of the agents. “Why not, but on a case-by-case basis, and not necessarily through family allowances. At the first offence, we should be able to financially and easily sanction the families. A sort of minimum rate from the first bullshit, ”thinks the president aloud.

Emmanuel Macron knows it, the road will be long. As he is aware that the lull observed for two days may only be a short-lived respite: “I do not consider that it is behind us. We will see what the 13th and 14th of July will already give (on the occasion of the national holiday when new tensions are to be feared), and again the months to come”. Until then, the message to the police and gendarmerie remains the same: “Stay on high alert”

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