In Avignon (Vaucluse)
In Avignon (Vaucluse)
Several thousand people gathered on Sunday in the courtyard of the Avignon police station to pay tribute to Éric Masson, a 36-year-old police officer killed Wednesday in the streets of the city center on the sidelines of a control operation linked to drug trafficking. The scorching sun, supported by a hot wind, did not get the better of the crowd, massed against the gates of the police station to the foot of the ramparts of the City of the Popes where road and tram traffic was interrupted for the duration of ceremony. On the forecourt, at the top of the steps leading to the reception, in front of the smiling portrait of their missing colleague, the police from the departmental intervention group 84 stand by the waist and shoulders as if to enter into a melee. At their feet,wreaths of flowers by the dozen and candles whose flame was spared by the mistral.
In the crowd,
is sung several times spontaneously. The medieval ramparts, erected opposite the police station, echo the songs. Some "
Long live the police!"
thrown here and there, cause a general applause. Among the people who came to pay homage to Eric Masson, there are many police officers from Bouches-du-Rhône and neighboring Gard. Some wear their armbands on their biceps. “
We come to support our colleagues in Avignon. Brutality is everywhere… And unfortunately, what happened is in the correct logic of things with regard to the violence of our society which is increasing
”, judge Guillaume and Laurent, two policemen from Nîmes who came with women and young children. "
We need tragedies like these for people to stop spitting on us… But it lasts a week and then it starts again
, ”says a policeman from Aix-en-Provence.
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The rally has, in the eyes of some, a scope going beyond the mere tribute to the murdered policeman.
Marie-Claude, a retired history and geography teacher, came in silence to express her “
” at no longer recognizing her city.
There is a loss of landmarks that I cannot explain to myself.
I am not pessimistic about our society, but I must admit all the same to you that, at 76 years old, I am almost happy not to have grandchildren… At least, I do not worry about them
”, coward she, moved by her own confession.
We say brother in arms one day, brother in arms always
,” says Laëtitia, a former police officer who is now a civil servant with the Ministry of Justice. J
e came to honor this colleague for what he has done for us, but also to instill certain values. It's important,
”she emphasizes, patting her little boy's cap. A social worker who came with a friend, Élodie denounces a deteriorating quality of life. “
We are told that Avignon is one of the ten best cities in which to live. When you live there, you wonder why, if not because the sidewalks have been redone! When a police officer dies in the city center killed by a drug dealer, can we really speak of “good living”?
», She asks.
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On the forecourt, as a prelude to the minute's silence, Philippe Kintard, policeman, vice-president of the Vaucluse police association, takes the microphone, moved to tears.
The individual, to be correct, who did that to Eric, let him tremble,
says a few seconds before a new
launched by the crowd, ends his speech.
Some local politicians made the trip, including the deputies Julien Aubert (LR), Nicolas Meizonnet (RN) or Gilbert Collard (RN) ... Did they hear the call of the father of Eric Masson, himself a former policeman, who called for nobody to recover this tragedy? Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m., a national tribute must be paid to the policeman father of two children. It will take place in front of the Vaucluse prefecture, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, and the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.