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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) claimed guns and “the violence they bring” are responsible for the death of Chicago police officer Ella French.
Twenty-nine-year-old French, a three-and-a-half-year veteran of the force, died over the weekend after she was shot during a traffic stop. French is the first officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty since Lightfoot took office in 2019 and the first female officer to be killed since 1988.
“Today is an official day of mourning for the city,” Lightfoot’s official Twitter account posted Sunday. “We lost a young officer. I offer my condolences to her mother, brother, family, and friends. Please keep this officer, the officer in the hospital, and CPD in your prayers.”
“Some say we don’t do enough for the police. Others say we do too much. All of this must stop. We have a common enemy: it’s guns & the violence they bring,” she continued. “Two young people did what we asked of them: service over self. And one paid with her life.”
“Devoted officers reported for duty today despite their fears & pain. These officers deserve to make it home safely today and every day,” she added.
French was killed and another officer left in critical condition after a shooting during a traffic stop on Saturday night. As the New York Post reports:
According to police accounts, French and two other officers had just stopped a vehicle at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue when one of its three passengers began firing. Officers returned fire, injuring one of the passengers, while the two cops were shot.
All three suspects were apprehended, but their names have not been released. One member of the group had a 2019 robbery on his criminal record, which is “not extensive,” [Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown] told reporters.
“It seems that neither of the three offenders have extensive [criminal] background,” he said.
Lightfoot ordered a day of mourning and all flags lowered to half-staff in the wake of the tragedy. She also pled for peace at a press conference following French’s death. Over the weekend, at least 8 people died in shootings and another 65 were wounded across the city, according to CBS Chicago.
“There are some who say that we do not do enough for the police and that we are handcuffing them for doing their jobs,” Lightfoot said, according to Fox News. “There are others who say we do too much for the police and that we never hold them accountable for what they do particularly in Black and Brown neighborhoods. But to all of this, I say, ‘stop, just stop.’ This constant strife is not what we need in this moment.”
“Of course we need to continue the journey to achieve constitutional and accountable policing,” she continued. “That cannot be a debate at this point. But let me also reiterate what I’ve said before and what I know to be true. The police are not our enemies. They’re human, just as we are. Flawed, just as we are. But also risking their lives every day for our safety and security.”
Messages of praise and mourning went out over social media in honor of French after she was revealed as the dead officer.
“Late last night 2 of our own were shot. We lost a sister in blue. Officer Ella French was murdered while conducting a traffic stop with her partners. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and co-workers. The 2nd officer is still fighting for his life. Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts,” the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police posted on Facebook.