June 16, 2021

At the trial of the man who slapped Emmanuel Macron, the uncertain motivations of an unknown accused of justice

Once. Twice. Thrice. Then one last, in slow motion. The slap dealt two days earlier to Emmanuel Macron will have been dissected from all angles by the criminal court of Valencia, Thursday, June 10. The angle of physical violence first, judged “Perfectly inadmissible” by the public prosecutor Alex Perrin. But above all, the expression of political violence almost claimed by its author, Damien Tarel, at the hearing: “I felt invested by what represent the“ yellow vests ”excluded just before and whose voice could not be heard, and by the French people in general. “

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The 28-year-old Drômois was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, including four months for voluntary violence without incapacity on a person holding public authority. The remaining fourteen months are accompanied by a two-year probationary period with an obligation of psychological care. The court added three additional penalties to its judgment: the ban on holding a weapon for five years, permanently exercising any public function and the deprivation of one’s civic, civil and family rights for three years. Handcuffs – a warrant of committal having been issued – Damien Tarel left silently, without one having yet fully understood the ideological magma which pushed this young man, totally unknown to justice, to such a gesture.

“I wouldn’t want to put our democracy on trial”

Two hours earlier, the court discovered her long hair and her very chosen, thoughtful vocabulary. His dyslexia and high intellectual potential diagnosed in childhood, before the trauma of his father’s death, his years of unemployment and RSA. But also his passion for Japan, chivalry and medieval combats, which he put to good use by launching three small associations in his “Small dying country town” of Saint-Vallier. And his ” disgust “ for Emmanuel Macron, who “Represents very well the downfall of our country”, according to him. Which mainly represents the presidential institution and French democracy, one of the assessors points out to him. “I would not want to put our democracy on trial, but I do not find that he was elected by the whole of the French population”, retorts Damien Tarel. Here we are.

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So had he come to Tain-l’Hermitage (Drôme) on Tuesday, June 8 in order to slap the head of state? No he was “Not at all come in that spirit”, assures the accused. Just had he “Considered” with his friend Arthur C., also placed in police custody but whose implication was not retained, to make “Something remarkable”. Like wearing yellow vests or waving a French flag, but it was risking being arrested. Or toss him an egg or a custard pie, but a friend had warned him that the egg, “It could be dangerous”, so he had given up on the idea. Finally, it will be the slap more or less spontaneous.

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