Entertainment

‘God took the wrong kid’: Brother mourns slain Chicago cop Ella French


The grief-stricken brother of slain Chicago cop Ella French said ‘God took the wrong kid’ as he joined thousands in mourning his baby sister after she was gunned down during a traffic stop.

Ella French, 29, was killed and her partner seriously wounded during an armed confrontation with three suspects on the city’s South Side on Saturday night. 

French is the first female Chicago cop killed in the line of duty since since 1988.

Andrew French, an Iraq War veteran, said: ‘I was proud of her, I’m still proud of her. … God took the wrong kid.’ 

‘She was the epitome of a good Samaritan. And she was the best sister. It didn’t matter what I was going through or how hard things were hitting me, she was always there,’ he told the The Chicago Tribune on Sunday. 

French was killed during a shootout on Saturday night in the South Side

Iraq War veteran Andrew French spoke about his sister Ella, who was killed during a shootout on the city’s South Side on Saturday night

French said that his sister wanted to accomplish many things, even before joining the force three years ago. 

‘She’s always done the right thing even when nobody’s looking. She’s always believed in people and believed in doing the right thing. She’s always believed in taking care of people that can’t take care of themselves,’ he told the paper. 

One of her ideas involved giving the opportunity for convicts to get therapy or social services rather than serving additional jail time. 

French called his sister a 'good Samaritan' as she was always willing to help others, which included setting up therapy or social services for convicts rather than extended jail time

French called his sister a ‘good Samaritan’ as she was always willing to help others, which included setting up therapy or social services for convicts rather than extended jail time

She also was close with her mother. The two shared a passion for travel.

‘She was there for my mom. She was reliable. … She’s my sister, she’s my little sister. And as much as I was there for her when we were growing up, she was there for me.

French is survived by a 2-month-old daughter. She was one of 10 people killed and 64 wounded by gun violence throughout Chicago over the weekend. 

Ella French, 29, was shot and killed at 9pm on Saturday in Chicago, during a traffic stop

Ella French, 29, was shot and killed at 9pm on Saturday in Chicago, during a traffic stop

French was the first female cop to be called on duty in Chicago since 1988 where Irma Ruiz was shot and killed outside of an elementary school

French was the first female cop to be called on duty in Chicago since 1988 where Irma Ruiz was shot and killed outside of an elementary school

 ‘We will never forget the true bravery she exemplified as she laid her life down to protect others,’ the department said of French on Facebook, adding that fellow officers will ‘grieve the loss of this hero.’

The department also requested support for French’s ‘wounded partner, who is in the hospital fighting for his life.’

The partner, identified only as a 39-year-old married father of a boy, remained in critical condition and was joined by his family in the ICU, according to ABC 7 Chicago

He sustained three gunshot wounds: One went through his eye, one lodged in the back of the head and one struck his shoulder, according to the TV station. 

A moment of silence was held for him at the New Life Community Church. The cop, who has been on the force since 2014, was said to have ‘ a real heart for the community, for the people.’  

The two officers were fired upon after a vehicle carrying two men and a woman had been pulled over at 9 pm, said Eric Carter, Chicago police first deputy superintendent, at a news conference early Sunday.

The officers returned fire, and one of the people in the vehicle was also wounded.

The suspect who killed French was believed to be the passenger of the vehicle, according to the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department David Brown.  

The wounded suspect was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center. Their condition was unknown. 

All three suspects have been taken into custody, according to police.  Their names have not been released as of late Sunday.

French and her partner were shot during a confrontation with two men and a woman in the vehicle leaving her dead and her partner critically injured

French and her partner were shot during a confrontation with two men and a woman in the vehicle leaving her dead and her partner critically injured

A flag is raised in tribute to the 29-year-old female officer who lost her life on Saturday

A flag is raised in tribute to the 29-year-old female officer who lost her life on Saturday

Members of the Chicago police department form an honor guard as the news of their colleague's murder spread

Members of the Chicago police department form an honor guard as the news of their colleague’s murder spread

At a Sunday news conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged Chicagoans to end the acrimony between ardent police proponents who say officers are hampered by overly burdensome rules and staunch critics who say officers act with impunity.

‘Stop. Just stop,’ she said. ‘This constant strife is not what we need in this moment.’ 

‘The police are not our enemies,’ Lightfoot added at the news conference. 

‘We must come together. … We have a common enemy: It’s the guns and the gangs.’ 

The shooting of the officers occurred on another violent summer weekend in the nation’s third largest city, with at least 64 people shot, 10 fatally, by Sunday afternoon, according to ABC7 in Chicago. 

The bloody incidents included two mass shootings at two separate nightclubs, as well as a murder-suicide.  

One of the nightclub shootings saw seven struck by bullets – one man fatally – after an argument at a lounge in the city’s Gresham neighborhood.

That saw the 24 year-old gunman allegedly shoot a 37 year-old he’d been arguing with twice in the neck and three times in the back.

The 37 year-old was rushed to hospital and later pronounced dead. Meanwhile, the gunman was himself shot eight times, and remains critically-ill in hospital. 

Five others injured in that shooting, aged between 23 and 56, were taken to hospital and are expected to survive their wounds. 

The other nightclub shooting saw two bouncers aged 42 and 40 shot multiple times after denying someone entry to another Gresham nightclub. Three other men standing near the club door were also shot. 

Brown, who spoke at a press conference on Sunday, said 38 officers have been shot at so far this year.

He says: ‘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.” 

“They go to work risking everything to serve the people of Chicago. They come to work willing to run toward danger. Toward gunfire. And they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to save the lives of perfect strangers.”

Dozens of officers arrived outside the University of Chicago Medical Center to pay their respects to French and her injured colleague amid the ongoing explosion of gun violence in the city.

She had joined the force in 2018 and was a member of the community safety team, a citywide unit formed last summer by Brown to respond to crime hotspots. 

Lightfoot, speaking outside the hospital, said: ‘The officer who succumbed to her injuries was very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work.’  

Lightfoot encouraged people to never forget the sacrifices officers make.

‘This is a very tragic and sad day for our city, and pray for officers the men and women of this department,’ the mayor said. 

‘They deserve our prayers every single day that they can return home safely to their families, unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight.’ 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is seen speaking at a press conference on Sunday at the headquarters of the Chicago police department in Bronzeville

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is seen speaking at a press conference on Sunday at the headquarters of the Chicago police department in Bronzeville

French is the first officer to be killed on Lightfoot's watch. She was elected mayor in 2019

French is the first officer to be killed on Lightfoot’s watch. She was elected mayor in 2019

Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, is pictured at a press conference hours after the shooting

Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, is pictured at a press conference hours after the shooting

First deputy superintendent Eric Carter speaks, as Lightfoot looks on, in the early hours of Sunday

First deputy superintendent Eric Carter speaks, as Lightfoot looks on, in the early hours of Sunday

French was the first member of Chicago police department to be shot and killed in the line of duty since Lightfoot became mayor in 2019. The last male officer to be killed in the line of duty was in 2018.

Last year, the deaths of four other Chicago officers who succumbed to COVID-19 were also considered by the police department to be in the line of duty. 

The last line-of-duty deaths of Chicago officers who were killed while pursuing a suspect were in December 2018, when Officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary were fatally struck by a train as they looked for a suspect wanted for illegally possessing a gun. 

That suspect, Edward Brown, was sentenced this past April to a year in prison for a felony weapon violation in the case. 

November 2018 saw the last fatal shooting of a Chicago officer, Samuel Jimenez, 28.

In February 2018 Commander Paul Bauer, 53, was shot and killed, while arresting a suspect.

He had served with the Chicago Police Department for 32 years and served as commander of the 018th District. 

The last female officer shot to death in the line of duty was Irma Ruiz, who was shot inside an elementary school in 1988. 

2021 is on track to become the nation's deadliest year of gun violence to date as shootings surge

2021 is on track to become the nation’s deadliest year of gun violence to date as shootings surge

President Biden has announced plan to crack down on firearms dealers but will also let states and cities use $350 billion in COVID relief to hire more cops amid surging violent crime

President Biden has announced plan to crack down on firearms dealers but will also let states and cities use $350 billion in COVID relief to hire more cops amid surging violent crime

Police investigate a shooting in Lawndale on Chicago's West Side on July 21. Officers said 11 people were killed by guns last weekend as homicides surge across the country

Police investigate a shooting in Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side on July 21. Officers said 11 people were killed by guns last weekend as homicides surge across the country

Data from July showed murders in the city were nearly the same as the number reported last year, but shootings increased by 15 per cent and the number of people shot in the city rose by nearly 10 per cent year-over-year.

Those statistics, released by the Chicago Police Department, show that there were 105 homicides recorded in the month of July. 

That is down slightly from last summer, when 107 people were killed in July, but up significantly over 2019, when 44 murders were recorded – representing a 139 per cent increase in monthly homicides within the last two years.

Police say that 445 homicides have been recorded so far in 2021, compared to 446 during the first seven months of 2020. 

Once again, both numbers are significantly higher than those recorded in 2019, when 290 people were killed in the first seven months of the year, representing a 53.4 per cent increase. 

Nationwide, between January and July 24 2021, there has been 25,216 gun-related deaths including homicides, murders, suicides, unintentional shootings, and defensive gun use incidents. 

On average, this means 123 people have died across the country every single day in 2021. 

If the trend continues, almost 45,000 people will lose their lives to gun violence by the end of the year.

This figure dwarfs the 43,563 shooting deaths recorded in 2020 – which had been the deadliest year for shooting incidents in at least two decades. 



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button