This final instalment on the events of January 7 – 9, 2015, looks at two of the three police officers who were gunned down during that time in Paris.

Funeral in Martinique

Clarissa Jean-Philippe had only been on the beat for 13 days when Amedy Coulibaly shot her in Montrouge, south of the city, on the morning of January 8.

Her body was flown back to Martinique, where she was born and raised. Her funeral took place in the town of Sainte-Marie at Notre Dame de l’Assomption church on Monday, January 20.

The Mass was concelebrated by the Archbishop of Martinique, the Vicar General and her parish priest.

A large group of French and regional ministers from Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guyana filled the church, decorated with a hundred floral wreaths from various organisations and community groups.

Bishop Michel Méranville reminded the congregation of the tremendous risk and pressure the police, emergency services and firefighters were under.

My prayers go to her family and friends, but particularly her mother. It cannot be easy burying a child, especially in such circumstances.

Charb’s police officer

Stéphane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier had police protection from the time Charlie Hebdo‘s offices had been firebombed in 2011. (This was not the same building they were in this month, although it was nearby.)

Charb’s officer, Franck Brinsolaro, died whilst trying to protect him on January 7.

Following Brinsolaro’s untimely death, Le Monde reported that protection detail takes a special type of officer:

Flexibility, discretion, he has to learn the language and habits of ‘his’ well-known public figure — that’s what they say, often affectionately, of those whom they protect. From morning to evening, they follow them, accompany them. Seventeen-hour days where they share with ‘their’ VIP the close confines of a car, but also a conversation, sometimes a meal.

Abdelhalim Benzadi, who was part of the security detail for Nicholas Sarkozy’s government, says:

We’re in that inner circle, we go on holiday with them, we know their families.

Another officer, Christophe Crépin, told the paper:

With ‘my’ public figure we no longer need to say anything, we know what each other is thinking. It’s a bit like miming.

These officers do their job so well that Charb said in an interview in 2013:

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m the one working as an officer and they’re the ones running Charlie Hebdo.

They do not necessarily look like bouncers or minders. Le Monde said that only the Glock they carry distinguishes them from anyone else.

Franck Brinsolaro’s widow Ingrid told Ouest France newspaper that her husband was:

an understated and discreet man who adored his work.

My prayers go to her and her family in the months ahead.

Advertisements