Franck Brinsolaro was a married father of two and a police officer. His assignment was to guard Stephane Charbonnier, editorial director of Charlie Hebdo. Brinsolaro’s protection was necessary because of constant death threats against Charbonnier from Muslim extremists. (source)
Brinsolaro knew his job protecting Charbonnier was dangerous, but he also understood the importance of the idea of free thought and expression. We know this because he was married to a journalist. His wife, Ingrid Brinsolaro, is the editor of the Awakening Normand, Bernay.
A husband of a journalist and bodyguard to a marked man — marked because of his commitment to free expression. Brinsolaro was the real deal. This was no tragic victim. Brinsolaro was a true soldier in the fight against censorship and extremism. Brinsolaro died in the line of duty as a true hero.
The Awakening Normand, Bernay’s ownership group, released a statement: “The Publihebdos teams are in shock after the cowardly attack … that hit Charlie Hebdo today. This barbaric attack had many victims, including a downed police officer who was the husband of Ingrid Brinsolaro, our editor at Bernay. We are devastated and very sad. With this attack it is the journalists that are one. Freedom of the press is challenged and through it all our freedoms. Our duty, the honor of the publishing community is to affirm more than ever its solidarity with his friends of Charlie Hebdo for the defense and illustration of the freedom of the press. It is also to declare that it will never yield to threats and intimidation against intangible principles of freedom of expression.”
Many times journalists and police officers are at odds with each other, but we glad to know that when it comes down to what really matters – freedom – we can all stand together.
Let us never forget the sacrifice made by Franck Brinsolaro on that horrible day.
Je Suis Franck. Je Suis Charlie.