29-year-old Ella French, an officer with the Chicago Police Department, lost her life on Saturday night after a confrontation with three armed suspects. Her partner, who also suffered serious injuries, remains hospitalized. She had just returned from maternity leave.
The two Chicago PD officers were shot on the Southside on Saturday evening. According to a statement by the CPD, the shooting occurred around 9:10 P.M, near the 6300 Block of South Bell Avenue. The shooting occurred during a routine traffic stop on three people in a vehicle, First Deputy Police Superintendent Eric Carter said at a press conference.
Both officers were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in serious-to-critical condition, where unfortunately, the 29-year-old French succumbed to her injuries.
Dozens of Chicago Police Department personnel and Cook County sheriff’s, EMTs and firefighters gathered around the hospital in a gesture of solidarity to commemorate her end of watch.
On early Sunday morning, as is tradition for Chicago police officers who fall in the line of duty, a procession playing the bagpipes led an ambulance carrying the slain officer’s body to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
At a press briefing on Sunday morning, both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David O. Brown gave updates.
“Despite the shock, grief, pain and sorrow we feel this morning, our brothers and sisters in blue put this uniform on each and every day," said Brown. "They go to work risking everything to serve the people of Chicago. They come to work, willing to run towards things, toward gunfire, and they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to save the lives of perfect strangers."
“I am here as mayor to declare an official day of mourning for our city,” said Lightfoot, who also took the opportunity to call on people to show support for the police.
“I also want to address another issue that’s been lashing our city for far too long. There are some who say that we do not do enough for the police and that we are handcuffing them from doing their jobs," she said. "There are others who say we do too much for the police, and then we never hold them accountable for what they do, particularly in black and brown neighborhoods. All of this, I say, stop. Just stop. This constant strife is not what we need at this moment.”
Ella French leaves behind an infant daughter.