Gérald Darmanin reserved his first trip to the provinces on Tuesday as Minister of the Interior in the village of Port-Sainte-Marie, in Lot-et-Garonne, to pay tribute to the young gendarme killed on Saturday evening by a driver who wanted to avoid a traffic control.
Read also: Gérald Darmanin, a minister who proudly wears the costume of France's first cop
" I came to reassure the gendarmes this evening and tell them that we are thinking of them, " said Gérald Darmanin, arriving at the gendarmerie, very close to the place where the 25-year-old woman died. “ Today is the time of mourning. I came to tell all the gendarmes in this department and finally all the national gendarmerie that we are affected by this tragedy, "he added. " Nothing justifies that a young woman who serves the Republic on a daily basis knows this fate, " he insisted. " I have come to say how much respect I have for the police ."
Constable Mélanie Lemée was originally from Orne, in Normandy. An accomplished sportswoman, she had notably represented France at the World Military Judo Championships in 2016 in Switzerland. She had been assigned that year to the local brigade of Aiguillon, not far from Port-Sainte-Marie, and had just passed the examination of judicial police officer.
Loaded criminal record
Monday, the public prosecutor of Agen Manuella Garnier had explained how the 26-year-old driver had struck the gendarme at more than 130 km / h while driving without a license, transporting " probably cocaine ". The suspect, in the criminal record responsible for narcotics and traffic offenses, was charged with " intentional homicide on a person depositing public authority ", an offense punishable by life imprisonment. While in police custody, he explained that he refused to stop because he was driving without a license, under the influence of drugs, and that he had just acquired cocaine.
Immediately after the transfer of powers, Gérald Darmanin had reserved his first trip to a police station in Les Mureaux (Yvelines), in tribute to the two police officers killed in 2016 at their home in Magnanville, one of whom worked in this police station. After Port-Sainte-Parie, Gérald Darmanin had to go to a rescue center near Agen and talk to the firefighters.