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Partner of Slain Paris Police Officer Gives Heartbreaking Eulogy

by Mary Emily O'Hara /
Etienne Cardiles, partner of Xavier Jugele, the policeman (portrait) killed by a jihadist in an attack on the Champs Elysees, gives a speech during a ceremony to pay tribute to him on April 25, 2017.Bertrand Guay / AFP - Getty Images

Xavier Jugelé was still sleeping when his partner Etienne Cardiles left for work on Thursday morning.

It would be the last time Cardiles saw the man he loved alive. A police officer in Paris, Jugelé was shot and killed last Thursday in an isolated ISIS attack on the Champs-Élysées.

Cardiles delivered a eulogy on Tuesday at a national ceremony held in honor of the slain officer, attended by President François Hollande as well as current presidential candidates. As centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen looked on, Cardiles spoke about the life of his partner.

"When the first messages appeared that warned Parisians that a serious event was ongoing on the Champs Élysée and that a police officer had lost his life, a little voice told me it was you," said Cardiles, addressing his slain partner.

He spoke in a near-silent open courtyard at the center of Paris police headquarters, with hundreds of officers and top officials looking on. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former president Nicolas Sarkozy were also present, the Associated Press reported.

Cardiles, who was in a civil union with Jugelé, called the shooting "one of these events that everyone dreads and hopes will never happen." He said he was thankful Jugelé died immediately and didn't suffer: "You were taken on the spot, and I thank your lucky star."

“I went home at night without you, with deep and extreme pain. That may appease one day; I don’t know," Cardiles said, his voice breaking slightly.

Jugelé's casket was draped in a French flag just a few feet away. The heroic officer had been a Paris policeman since 2010, the New York Times reported, and was one of the first responders at the November 2015 terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert venue where 90 people were killed. That attack was also claimed by ISIS.

 Etienne Cardiles, partner of Xavier Jugele, the policeman (portrait) killed by a jihadist in an attack on the Champs Elysees, gives a speech during a ceremony to pay tribute to him on April 25, 2017. Bertrand Guay / AFP - Getty Images

He was also an LGBTQ-rights activist and a member of the French LGBTQ police association.

“He was a simple man who loved his job, and he was really committed to the L.G.B.T. cause,” Mickaël Bucheron, president of the LGBTQ police association Flag, told the New York Times on Friday. “He joined the association a few years ago, and he protested with us when there was the homosexual propaganda ban at the Sochi Olympic Games.”

Cardiles said his partner loved theater, movies, and music — especially Celine Dion, Madonna and Britney Spears.

In honor of Jugelé, Cardiles said he refuses to hate the attackers who killed him. He urged everyone else to do the same: "Let’s all stay worthy and let’s keep the peace."

"I don’t have hate, Xavier, because it’s not like you," Cardiles said. "It’s not what’s in your heart."

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