“Sensitive Affairs” on France 2 looks back on “BAC Nord, the real story of the police scandal”

Laëtitia J., wife of an arrested ex-policeman from the BAC Nord de Marseille, testifies in Linda Bendali's documentary.


BAC North, the film by Cédric Jimenez, was inspired by the real events which led eighteen police officers from the anti-crime brigade (BAC) in the northern districts of Marseille to be referred to correctional for theft, corruption, drug trafficking, racketeering and placed in pre-trial detention in October 2012, but favoring the point of view of three of them. Four months after the verdict of the Marseille court, on April 22, 2021, which pronounced seven acquittals and eleven suspended sentences, the theatrical success of the feature film served as a social indicator.

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Broadcast on Monday March 21 on France 2 as part of “Sensitive Affairs”, the television adaptation of Fabrice Drouelle’s program on France Inter, Linda Bendali’s documentary brings new elements. The reality is much more complex [que la fiction]warns Franck Duprat, editor-in-chief at Capa for the show. All the strength of his investigation is to bring out the many parameters of the case, sometimes underground, such as the dirty war of the police or the politics of numbers. »

Also listen BAC Nord de Marseille: story of a fall

The director thus retraces the thread of the story from its beginnings, in 2009, based on television archives and key testimonies – unquestionably the strong point of this investigation, even if, the prosecution having appealed (twelve police officers must go before the judges in September), the accused police officers remain in the background.

Dirty cop rumors

Laëtitia J., wife of a former member of the BAC Nord arrested, did not retract. No more than Joël Dutto, the father of one of the three dismissed police officers, whose perseverance brought to light the transcription errors of the IGPN, the police force.

The security prefect at the time, Alain Gardère, Nicolas Sarkozy's active arm, speaks for the first time about this affair in Linda Bendali's documentary.

Also present in the documentary: Virgile Reynaud, lawyer for five police officers; Manuel Valls, Minister of the Interior (2012-2014); but also Sébastien Bennardo, the policeman who denounced his former colleagues, after being ousted from the brigade. His meeting with the new prefect, sent to Marseille under the leadership of Nicolas Sarkozy to take over the city, will serve as a detonator. Ex-prefect now, Alain Gardère speaks for the first time on this case.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “Fictitious employment” and “corruption”, the troubled affairs of the prefect Gardère

Little by little, the declarations fit together. The lawyers and the instruction notify the “bars” (of drugs) found in the police, the liquid, the jewels, the cannabis in the lockers, the days doped with adrenaline. Added to the rumors of rogue cops, the media charge on the small arrangements of this elite brigade, congratulated in January 2012 then released a few months later. “As long as everything is fine, we have you covered”underlines the brigadier-chief Marc La Mola, who rubbed shoulders with the “baqueux” in the 2010s and salutes their “tremendous courage”.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers “BAC Nord”: an emblematic affair, which weighed on many careers

There is no question of revealing further the many twists and turns (hiddens, plays, “secret pact”) that enamel this story until the epilogue, which is also surprising. At most indicate that it puts an end, temporarily, to a “big mess” ten years, to use the words of Joël Dutto.

The broadcast is followed by a debate during which Fabrice Drouelle will discuss with Rudy Manna, departmental secretary of the Alliance police union, the substance of this emblematic affair, the shock wave of which has not finished shaking police circles.

BAC Nord, the true story of the police scandal, documentary by Linda Bendali (Fr., 2021, 45 min). Broadcast as part of the “Affaires sensible” program presented by Fabrice Drouelle. Available in replay on

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