In the North, the city of Roubaix in shock after the death of three young police officers

A woman places a bouquet of flowers in front of the Roubaix police station (North), Tuesday May 23, 2023.

There are so many bouquets in front of the entrance to the Roubaix police station (North) that some of them had to be put in the waiting room. Wreaths, bouquets from florists, other more modest ones, a few children’s drawings. The emotion is palpable in this city where worked the three young police officers killed, Sunday May 21 in the morning, in a traffic accident, hit by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction, speeding and whose driver was heavily alcoholic and drugged, according to the elements of the investigation.

On the eve of the national tribute to be held at the Roubaix-Hem police academy, Thursday, May 25, at noon, in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, it has not fallen. Two young policemen have just come out of the police station and are smiling at each other when they find, slipped between flowers, a small car, a child’s toy placed there. The colleagues of the three victims, aged 24 and 25, are not done with the grief.

In this town where “the first insecurity is undoubtedly road crime”, as observed by Jean-François Boudailliez, a former elected official, and even if the accident took place in the neighboring town of Villeneuve-d’Ascq (Nord), the conditions in which the three police officers died add to the need to testify his solidarity. “It was not a chase, our colleagues took no risks, recalls a police officer. It’s not easy to be a police officer in Roubaix, it’s hard ground. We are all the more sensitive to the solidarity that the people of Roubaix show us. »

“It’s a steady flow and it’s impressive”

Barely hours after the news of the accident spread, anonymous people came spontaneously to the central police station. And, since Sunday, it does not stop. “It’s a steady stream and it’s impressive,” for Guillaume Delbar, the mayor (DVD) of Roubaix, who sees “a beautiful testimony of recognition of the work of the police, at a time when it is living an absolute tragedy”. On Sunday, he went to the police station ” shocked “. “Police collapsed in tears. »

Three days later, there is an unusual restraint in the waiting room overrun with bouquets. Life has resumed, with its share of complaints, summonses, sometimes difficult explanations between reception officials and people annoyed by the slowness of the process.

Two young men who came for a stolen car case which they claim to be theirs entrust, when they leave, to have “retained” of “get angry, even if it’s been going on for three weeks and [que] it is not normal. But, there, we still need respect”. Behind her stroller, Mélanie Duhamel, a young mother, says to herself “dismayed”. She came to file a complaint for a theft from the trailer, but turned back. She will come back another day. “There, I don’t feel it. They have other things to do and think about. »

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