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A policewoman who intervened after the Nice attack deplores the "indifference" of her hierarchy at trial

“I would like my testimony to serve my ministry to become aware of its culpable indifference to our fate”, launched Laure Sarraillon before the special assize court, in reference to all the police officers “first responders” after the attack , which left 86 dead and more than 450 injured.

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A policewoman who intervened after the Nice attack deplores the "indifference" of her hierarchy at trial

“I would like my testimony to serve my ministry to become aware of its culpable indifference to our fate”, launched Laure Sarraillon before the special assize court, in reference to all the police officers “first responders” after the attack , which left 86 dead and more than 450 injured.

This 51-year-old woman, who worked in the police for 22 years, including 16 in Nice, says she has "difficulty considering (himself) as a victim", despite the post-traumatic stress disorder which handicaps her daily life.

On July 14, 2016, she was not on duty, but immediately volunteered when she received the first information of a "terrible accident" on the Promenade des Anglais, shortly after 10:30 p.m.

Arrived at the police station at 11:10 p.m., she is responsible for managing the command center and "interfacing with the staff of the Marseille judicial police" and the intelligence services.

"I remember the screams of my colleagues on the airwaves" (radio calls), and the cries behind them", says this mother of three children - present in the room - in a green suit, her hair tied in a bun.

She also remembers the call announcing the identity of the assailant, another warning of the death of their colleague, commissioner Emmanuel Groult, and those, many, of people looking for relatives.

In the early morning, she is sent to the Promenade to seal off this two-kilometre-long crime scene with screens, while onlookers and journalists are still trying to cross the installed barriers.

- "Perceptible despair" -

"For the first time in my career, I smelled the smell of blood. I was totally paralyzed by the certainty that there was nothing alive around me", adds the former police officer, underlining the "despair perceptible" of his colleagues in forensic identification who made the findings.

With all the "tenderness" possible, she asks the families still present with their dead to leave the scene, to allow the scientific police to do their job. She then accompanies the mortuary vehicles which proceed to the lifting of the bodies.

"The number and the state of the bodies that I saw that day, it was unbearable to me", loose this professional who worked in the direction of public security, yet accustomed to car accidents and the announcement bad news to loved ones.

Rubbing shoulders "for hours" with these dead "without identity", without "link with the families", gave rise to a feeling of "helplessness", she analyzes.

"I especially have in mind the body of a little boy, who was wearing the same Decathlon outfit as the one I had just bought for my son".

After going back to work as if nothing had happened, he was gradually invaded by sleep disorders, then difficulty breathing, nausea, anxiety attacks.

"At no time did anyone in the hierarchy bother to find out how I was or to invite me to the debriefings," she laments.

After her work stoppage in January 2017, she said she had not received more support: "My hierarchy found nothing better than to impose a transfer on me" and "the only time I was called , last year, it was to tell me to come and get my things".

"I am thinking of all my colleagues (...) who suffer in silence (...) when we were not in charge of either the decision or the implementation of the devices", she concludes, with reference to the many criticisms of the lack of security that evening.

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