CHICAGO—Family, friends, and fellow police officers from across Illinois paid tribute to Chicago police officer Ella French at her funeral in southwest Chicago on Thursday.
Thousands of Chicago and suburban police officers stood solemnly on the lawns surrounding St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. Some officers came from as far as Houston, Texas.
Elizabeth French, mother of Ella French, said, with tears in her eyes, at the funeral, “Ella was so proud to be a member of [the law enforcement] family. Every day, you leave home to serve and protect family, friends, and people you will never meet in your communities, towns, and cities.
“Ella and I thank you for your service. God bless you all. I close with the words I always told Ella as she headed to work, ‘Be careful and be safe.’”
Ella French was fatally shot two weeks ago during a traffic stop in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. On Aug. 7, French and two partners pulled over an SUV for expired license plates. The officers struggled to control one of the passengers Emonte Morgan, who drew a handgun from his waistband and shot French in the head and her partner Carlos Yanez Jr. in the eye and shoulder, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy at a bond hearing on Aug. 10.
Yanez remains hospitalized and is partially paralyzed.
Yanez’s father Carlos Yanez Sr., a former Chicago police officer, blames the police reform under Mayor Lori Lightfoot for his son’s injuries, according to Chicago Sun Times. He said police officers were more hesitant to draw their weapons for self-protection now for fear of repercussions under the current climate. Both French and Yanez had their handguns holstered during their struggle with Morgan, according to Murphy at the bond hearing.
“It’s not about race. It’s about survival of the officer. But they don’t have that now. They don’t have that confidence that someone’s gonna back them up,” Yanez Sr. told Sun Times.
Luz Martinez, a mother of a 27-year-old Chicago police officer, came to pay tribute to French at the funeral. Martinez’s other son just applied to become a Chicago police officer after a stint in the U.S. Army.
“Police are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’re out here trying to do their job, and they are being punished for what they’re being taught to do,” Martinez told The Epoch Times.
In 2021, 38 Chicago police officers were shot at, 11 of them struck, and one died, which is Ella French, according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown. In 2020, 79 officers were shot at or shot, a 500 percent increase from 2019.
Emonte Morgan is in custody and held without bail. Two other suspects, Eric Morgan and a woman, are also in custody. Jamel Danzy, who straw purchased the gun used in the murder of French for Morgan, is charged with federal firearm violations.