When Mayor Lori Lightfoot approached them in a hospital following the shooting of two officers on Saturday night, about 30 Chicago police officers reportedly turned their backs on her.
Officer Ella French was killed when officers were shot at during a traffic stop in West Englewood around 9 p.m. on Saturday. Her companion is still fighting for his life at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
When Lightfoot approached a large group of grieving officers on the hospital’s 7th floor hours after the shooting, they “did the about-face,” according to two witnesses. “It appeared to be choreographed,” one of the sources told the newspaper.
It happened just moments after the male officer’s father, a retired Chicago cop, yelled at Lightfoot when she tried to speak with him.
According to one source, she listened to him and treated him with respect while he blamed her for what happened.
The mayor’s office stated in a statement that “emotions run high in a time of tragedy, and that is to be expected.”
Lightfoot appeared shaken, according to one source. Then she went downstairs to speak to reporters at a news conference about the shooting.
“The mayor spoke to a variety of officers that tragic night and sensed the overwhelming sentiment was concern for their fallen colleagues,” it continued. “As the mayor stated yesterday, divisive and toxic rhetoric and reporting are not appropriate at this time. This is a time for the entire city to come together. We have a common enemy, and it is the conditions that breed violence and its manifestations, namely illegal guns and gangs.”
At a press conference on Sunday, Lightfoot declared an official day of mourning and announced that all city buildings’ flags would be lowered to half-staff.
She also called for an end to the squabbling over police reform and for police critics to “just stop.”
“Some say we don’t do enough for the police and that we prevent them from doing their jobs,” she said.
“Others argue that we do too much for the police and never hold them accountable for their actions, particularly in Black and brown neighborhoods. All of this, I say, must come to a halt. Simply come to a halt. This constant strife is not what we require at this time. Of course, we must continue on our journey toward constitutional and accountable policing. That is unarguable at this point.”
She also urged Chicagoans to express gratitude to police officers. ” These officers have earned the right to return home safely today and every day. “We owe them a debt of gratitude that we will almost certainly never be able to fully repay,” she said.
At the scene where the two officers were shot, balloons were tied to a tree in a somber reminder of the violence that took the life of Officer Ella French and left her partner clinging to life. Mayor Lightfoot is now walking a political tightrope.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced on Monday that two brothers have been charged in connection with the shooting.
Emonte Morgan, 21, is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
Eric Morgan, 22, faces aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and obstruction of justice charges. The woman who was in the car with the brothers was not charged, Brown said.