France Honors Xavier Jugelé, Police Officer Killed in Champs-Élysées Attack
Credit Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
PARIS — France paused from its intense focus on the presidential campaign on Tuesday to honor Xavier Jugelé, the veteran police officer who was shot and killed during a terrorist attack on the Champs-Élysées last week.
Officer Jugelé was remembered in a ceremony at Paris police headquarters that was attended by dozens of officials and hundreds of officers from around the globe, who heard a moving speech from his civil partner, Etienne Cardiles.
“I’d like to tell all those who are fighting to prevent events like these from happening that I understand their guilt and their feeling of failure and that they have to keep on fighting for peace,” Mr. Cardiles said.
In a reminder that the election was never far away, the two remaining candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, also attended, along with President François Hollande, the man they hope to replace.
Officer Jugelé, 37, was shot in the head on Thursday while at the wheel of a parked police van. He has been posthumously promoted and awarded the Legion of Honor. Two other police officers and a bystander were wounded in the attack.
In a personal and moving elegy, Mr. Cardiles described the man he loved in vivid terms. “You went to your job at 2 p.m. in the clothes that you wore when maintaining order, of which you took so much care,” he said. “I know you enjoyed this type of mission; I know, because it was the Champs” — meaning the Champs-Élysées — “and the image of France, because it was also culture that you were protecting.”
Mr. Cardiles then shifted to the night of the attack, saying that when he had heard there had been an attack on the Champs-Élysées and that a police officer had been killed, “A little voice inside told me that it was you.”
He addressed his companion’s killer, who was shot the night of the attacks, saying, “You will not have my hate.” This was an echo of the words of Antoine Leiris, the husband of one of the victims in the November 2015 attack on the Bataclan music hall in Paris, who wrote a book saying he would not be sucked into hatred of his wife’s killers.
Ms. Le Pen, who said on Monday that she would temporarily step down as the head of the National Front to focus on the campaign, has said she would emphasize modernizing police equipment. Mr. Macron has promised to restore community police programs.
The two candidates differ vastly, however, on how the fight against terrorism should be waged.
Ms. Le Pen has placed it at the center of a battle to save, as she frames it, the soul of France, calling for strong borders and the deportation of foreigners who are on a terror watch list.
Mr. Macron, on the other hand, says he would strengthen security by working with the European Union while promoting an open, multiethnic society, urging the French people not to “give in to fear.”
Visiting the Rungis wholesale market outside Paris early Tuesday morning, Ms. Le Pen reaffirmed her protectionist agenda and denounced Mr. Macron for celebrating his first-round score at the Rotonde, an upscale brasserie in Paris.
“When Hollande calls for a vote for Macron, everyone wants to vote for Le Pen,” she said in a cheerful tone, referring to the president, who is deeply unpopular.
Mr. Macron’s campaign was off to a slower start, although polls have suggested that he is an overwhelming favorite. His team has announced plans for rallies this week in northern France, where Ms. Le Pen performed best in the first round of voting on Sunday.