His husband, Etienne Cardiles, paid a beautiful and emotional tribute to his late partner this week, describing the “extreme and profound pain” he experienced returning home without the man he loved.
He recalled: “When I first got messages saying something had happened on the Champs-Élysées and that a police officer had died, a small voice told me it was you.
“[It] brought me back to that generous and healing phrase: ‘You will not have my hatred’.
“I don’t feel hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you – because it does not correspond to anything that made your heart beat, nor why you entered the police force.
“Because public service, helping others and protecting everyone was part of your education and your convictions. And tolerance, dialogue and patience were your strongest weapons.”
Xavier used his position of power to stand up for equality, marching in protests against Russa’s ban on ‘homosexual propaganda’, and joining FLAG, the French association for LGBT police officers.
The high-profile remembrance ceremony was attended by outgoing President Francois Hollande, as well as presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
Etienne remembered his husband as “a man full of culture and joy” who loved trips to the theatre and cinema, and whose favourite artists included Celine Dion, Zazie, Madonna, and Britney Spears.
He concluded: “A life of joy and laughter, in which love and tolerance were your uncontested masters. You lived like a star, you leave like a star.”
Watch his speech below.
The husband of the policeman who was murdered last week in Paris delivers an emotional eulogy at his memorial service pic.twitter.com/yGfVNQ1IXZ— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) April 25, 2017