Mayor Lightfoot addresses CPD fallout after fatal shooting of Officer Ella French

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Thursday, August 12, 2021
Lightfoot addresses police fallout after fatal officer shooting
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Mayor Lightfoot addressed the fallout, including CPD officers turning their backs on her when visiting the injured officer in the hospital, after an officer was killed last weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed some of the negative fallout she has received from police after the murder of Officer Ella French last weekend, including officers turning their back on her when she arrived at the hospital where French's partner is fighting for his life.

Lightfoot tried to downplay some of the conflict, and also decried what she called the lack of respect that pervades today's climate.

The mayor is still feeling the sting of having the officers turn their back on her.

"There was a lot of emotion from the range of the spectrum, from total despair to anger and rage, and everything in between, and that's to be expected," she said. "It was a really hard loss."

But she said the action is emblematic of a larger problem.

"It's not about me. We are living in a time when people don't respect each other," said Lightfoot.

The mayor is frustrated by some of the media coverage this week, including criticism of First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter who was caught on audio saying on Saturday night that there was no time to organize the bagpipe squad to pay honor to French. Lightfoot said it was based on a change in COVID protocols, but the Medical Examiner's Office said things have not changed.

"Eric Carter made the right call, I support what he did and I'm horrified that in this moment people are trying to savage him for whatever agenda or purposes," Mayor Lightfoot said.

She also defended herself from questions about why she went upstairs at the hospital to visit the wounded officer, when his father, a former cop, asked her not to come up.

"My role as mayor when I go to a hospital is to be there to show support, to make sure that city services are there and we're being responsive to the needs of whoever it is so come on, gimme a break," Lightfoot said.

One alderman said the mayor could have handled things better

"I think the last thing that should have happened is she should have just left them her number, and told the family that you know I understand you're going through some very difficult times, but we're here to support you," said 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale.

The mayor said the most important thing right now is to pay respect to Officer French and her family.