Chicago police officers turned their backs to the city’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot Saturday evening at a hospital following the shooting of two fellow officers, leaving one dead and another in critical condition.
Ella French, a 29-year-old Chicago officer, died Saturday night at the University of Chicago Medical Center from a gun wound after she and a fellow authority were shot during a traffic stop. French’s colleague remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Lightfoot received a cold greeting upon visiting the hospital from the nearly 30 officers that turned their backs to the mayor on the seventh floor, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday. The mayor attempted to talk with the injured officer’s father, who openly blamed her for the incident.
The mayor reportedly handled the situation calmly as the father, a former Chicago police officer, yelled at her, the outlet reported. Afterward, she approached officers standing nearby, who gave her a cold glare.
John Catanzara, the president of the FOP, said the grieving officers present at the hospital do not support Lightfoot’s leadership and hold her partially responsible for the shootings, the outlet reported.
“The police officers’ decision to turn their backs on the mayor while waiting with the family on the 7th floor was significant,” the president said. “Turning their backs on the mayor was an excellent example of how the hundreds of police officers felt waiting outside the hospital. They have had enough and are no longer going to remain silent.”
A group of Chicago Police officers turned their back on Mayor Lori Lightfoot when she visited the hospital to see two officers who were shot on Saturday. This is the mayor’s office statement about the incident: pic.twitter.com/CLdI7q6qwO
— Gregory Pratt (@royalpratt) August 9, 2021
Lightfoot said Sunday that the ongoing divisive criticism over the city’s handling of policing must “stop,” Fox News reported. (RELATED: 48 Shot, Including 2 Police Officers, In Another Grisly Chicago Weekend)
“There are some who say we do not do enough for the police and that we are handcuffing them from doing their jobs. 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,” the mayor said. “All of this, I say, stop. Just stop. This constant strife is not what we need at the moment.”
Lightfoot’s office said Monday that this is a time for the city to unite together and that emotions are expected to “run high” during a difficult time, according to the outlet.
“The mayor was present at the emergency room to offer support and condolences to the families involved and the hundreds of line officers and exempts who were there, which she did. In a time of tragedy, emotions run high and that is to be expected,” the statement read. “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 … 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.”
Over the weekend, at least 75 people were shot in Chicago with more than half being hit during a 10-hour time span, the Sun-Times reported. Three mass shootings occurred in the past few days that killed nine and injured sixteen people.