Official speeches and statements - April 21, 2017
1. Champs-Elysées attack - Statement by Mr. François Hollande, President of the Republic (Paris - April 20, 2017)
This evening, at exactly 9.00 p.m., a van of police officers was attacked on the Champs-Elysées
A police officer was killed. Two others were injured. A passer-by was also hit. The attacker was himself was incapacitated by other police officers.
The whole area was cordoned off and evacuated. We are convinced that pointers in the investigation which will uncover the whole truth will reveal it [the attack] to be of a terrorist nature. The case has also been submitted to the Counter-Terrorism Prosecution Department, which will conduct the investigation to determine the motives and possible accomplices.
I have convened a meeting of the Defence Council tomorrow morning at 8.00 a.m. Everything is being done to secure the mobilization of the security forces, police and military gendarmes, i.e. at the highest level under the now familiar circumstances. In fact, this has been the case for several months. We will be utterly vigilant, in particular regarding the electoral process.
But everyone will understand that my thoughts at this time are with the family of the policeman who was killed, and the injured police officers’ loved-ones. A national tribute will be paid to the police officer cravenly murdered in this way.
We must all realize that our security forces are doing a particularly tough job, that they are exposed to danger - as we’ve seen again this evening - and that the nation wholeheartedly supports them, and I reiterate here all the commitments I’ve made to police officers, gendarmes and soldiers. The nation’s protection and fellow citizens’ security are at stake. We must do everything in our power to ensure that these police officers, gendarmes and soldiers can carry out their job, of course respecting the rule of law and procedures, but enjoying the trust of the whole nation.
This is the message I want to convey this evening not only to the police, gendarmes and soldiers, but to all our fellow citizens; they are protected, they must be, they will be, and all the measures which have been taken have this aim.
But the basic principle, which must be restated every time, is the nation’s trust in, solidarity with and support for the security forces. These are my thoughts this evening and I am thinking not only with huge sadness about the officer who was doing his job right to the end, his family and the injured police officers, but also about our great determination to do everything in our power to fight terrorism, here and wherever our forces are engaged.