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French politicians and police unions voiced their indignation Thursday over an officer’s killing at a recognized drug-dealing website within the southern metropolis of Avignon, which reignited a debate over President Emmanuel Macron’s file on preventing crime.
The 36-year-old officer and father of two was shot and killed Wednesday night whereas investigating a gathering on the spot, Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin mentioned.
The shooter stays at massive.
The killing prompted deep shock in Avignon, famed because the seat of Catholic popes within the 14th century and for internet hosting one of many world’s greatest theatre festivals each July.
Visiting the scene Wednesday night, Darmanin hailed the lifeless officer, whose first identify was given by La Provence newspaper as Eric, as a “soldier” who “died a hero” in a “warfare” in opposition to drug sellers.
The assault occurred within the centre of Avignon, on a cobbled avenue operating alongside a canal.
A crew of plainclothes officers despatched to research a suspected drug deal have been finishing up identification checks on a bunch of individuals when one among them opened fireplace, a police supply informed AFP.
The person fired “a number of instances” on the officer and the others returned fireplace however didn’t handle to apprehend the shooter earlier than he fled via the historic coronary heart of town, the supply mentioned.
A lady suspected of being current within the group when it was raided was taken in for questioning Thursday.
“The whole lot is being achieved to make sure that this odious crime doesn’t go unpunished,” Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted.
Un de nos policiers a été mortellement blessé, ce soir, à Avignon, alors qu’il était en intervention.
Mes premières pensées vont à ses proches et à la grande famille de la @PoliceNationale, à nouveau endeuillée.
Tout est mis en œuvre pour que cet acte odieux ne reste pas impuni.
— Jean Castex (@JeanCASTEX) May 5, 2021
Polls present that violent crime is a high concern of voters forward of subsequent 12 months’s presidential election, by which Macron is predicted to hunt a second time period.
An Elabe ballot final month discovered that 65 p.c of voters have been sad with the president’s file on sustaining regulation and order.
In a current interview with Le Figaro newspaper, Macron described the combat in opposition to the drug sellers which have taken over housing estates in components of Paris, Marseille and different cities as “the mom of all battles.”
“I am preventing for the precise to dwell in peace,” Macron mentioned.
Police union official: France ‘not defending its officers’
The police have cited Avignon amongst one among a number of southern cities now by the drugs-related violence that has lengthy plagued Marseille, a key hub within the trans-Mediterranean marijuana and cocaine commerce.
They accuse the state of not doing sufficient to guard them as they take the combat to medicine syndicates in addition to radical Islamists.
Final month, a feminine police worker was stabbed to demise by a Tunisian radical at a police station within the Paris suburb of Rambouillet, the newest in a string of terror assaults which have ceaselessly focused the safety forces.
>> France holds nationwide homage for policewoman fatally stabbed in Rambouillet
Eric Ciotti, an MP for the centre-right Republicans social gathering, accused the federal government of “trying the opposite method” whereas “France sinks deeper into chaos on daily basis.”
“At the moment now we have to confess that the state is not defending its officers,” Frederic Lagache, a consultant of the Alliance police union, informed AFP on Thursday.
Far-right chief Marine Le Pen additionally expressed anger over the killing, accusing the state in a tweet of failing the safety forces.
The deputy chief of the left-wing France Unbowed social gathering, Adrien Quatennens, argued that it was time for France to reopen the controversy about legalising marijuana.