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Chicago Cops Turn Backs on Mayor Lori Lightfoot After Ella French Shooting

Newsweek logo Newsweek 8/10/2021 Khaleda Rahman
a man looking at the camera: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to guests at an event held to celebrate Pride Month at the Center on Halstead on June 07, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. © Scott Olson/Getty Images Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to guests at an event held to celebrate Pride Month at the Center on Halstead on June 07, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

About 30 Chicago police officers reportedly turned their backs on Mayor Lori Lightfoot when she approached them in a hospital following the shooting of two officers on Saturday night.

Officer Ella French was killed when officers were fired upon while conducting a traffic stop in West Englewood at around 9 p.m. on Saturday. Her partner is continuing to fight for his life at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

When Lightfoot approached a large group of grieving officers on the 7th floor of the hospital hours after the shooting, they "did the about-face," the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing two sources who were there.

"It looked like it had been choreographed," one of the sources told the newspaper.

It occurred moments after the male officer's father, who is a retired Chicago officer, yelled at Lightfoot when she tried to talk to him, according to the Sun-Times.

She listened and treated him with respect while he blamed her for what happened, one source said.

In a statement, the mayor's office said that "in a time of tragedy, emotions run high and that is to be expected."

It added: "The mayor spoke to a range of officers that tragic night and sensed the overwhelming sentiment was about concern for their fallen colleagues.

"As the mayor stated yesterday, now is not the time for divisive and toxic rhetoric or reporting. This is a time for us to come together as a city. We have a common enemy and it is the conditions that breed the violence and the manifestations of violence, namely illegal guns, and gangs."

At a news conference on Sunday, Lightfoot declared an official day of mourning and said all city buildings would have flags lowered to half-staff.

She also called for an end to the acrimony over police reform and for critics of police to "just stop."

"There are some who say 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 that we never hold them accountable for what they do, particularly in Black and brown neighborhoods. To all of this, I say stop. Just stop. This constant strife is not what we need in this moment. Of course, we have to continue the journey to achieve constitutional and accountable policing. That cannot be in debate at this point."

She also urged Chicagoans to say thank you to police officers.

"These officers deserve to make it home safely, today, and every day. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we will likely never be able to truly repay," she said.

Two brothers have been charged in connection with the shooting, Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown announced on Monday.

Emonte Morgan, 21, is facing one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Eric Morgan, 22, faces charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice.

The woman who was in the car with the brothers was not charged, Brown said.

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