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“We don’t shoot at men, but at threats”, the former RAID policeman published a book of testimony

“We don’t shoot at men, but at threats”, the former RAID policeman published a book of testimony

12:06 Guillaume Pivert

Marc Verillotte recounts twenty years spent in the interventional section in his book “At the Heart of RAID”.

Marc Verillotte is now a corporate speaker and shares his tips on managing stress. Stress is an emotion he knows, which he knew how to tame. From 1998 to 2018, it was part of RAID, an elite unit of the police. His specialty is breaking in to allow the intervention of an assault column. In January 2015, he’s the one to blow the door downHyper kosher and enable the intervention of the assault column.

The former judo champion is a privileged witness of the moments that marked these last years. He was present for searching for Yvan Colonna, that of the Kouachi brothers, knew Bataclan. He also participated in the attack on the apartment of Mr Mohamed MerahMarch 21, 2012. Left injured in the shoulder and head.

RAID’s mission is to arrest a madman, a terrorist. Live assets are then needed by investigators to, for example, trace weapons networks. But when an individual shoots, it is necessary to fight back well. What kind of relationship does Marc Verillotte have with weapons and the fact that they can be killed?

“We have something serious in our hands, we know the consequences and emotions it carries,” he explains, adding that the RAID is the police “don’t shoot at a man or a woman, but at a threat, it’s emotionless, purely professional”.

From the first recording, the tone was set. After shooting at paper targets, the coach showed Marco Verillotte and his friends photos of the people killed. “He told us: if you’re late, you’re your comrade, if you’re late, you’re a hostage.”

“Watch yourself to avoid diving”

One is mastery of weapons, and another is feelings. Marc Verillotte explains that within the attacking column there is a mix of young and more experienced. “The group draws its strength from heterogeneity”, says the ex-cop.

What long-term consequences do these extremely strong experiences have on these elite police officers? “The elders said be careful, you shouldn’t stay for more than ten years, there is a cumulative effect,” Marc Verillotte remembers. “It’s a cartoon, he adds, when I have a moment of poor health, I pay attention to my lifestyle, I go to sleep at more stable hours, by taking care of yourself you avoid diving”.

In the heart of Raidby Marc Verillotte and Karim Ben Ismaïl, published by Editions Arenas.

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