Ella French, a 29-year-old new mom, died Saturday night at the University of Chicago Medical Center after her, and another officer, were both shot during a traffic stop.
When Mayor Lightfoot arrived to the seventh floor of the hospital, approximately 30 law enforcement officers turned their backs to her as she attempted to speak with them.
The Chicago Sun Times reports that “Lightfoot tried to talk to the male officer’s father, who himself is a retired Chicago police officer. He clearly wanted nothing to do with Lightfoot, according to two sources who were there.”
“The father excoriated the mayor and blamed her for what had happened. One source said Lightfoot handled herself well as the father yelled at her. She listened and treated him with respect,” the report continues. “It was then suggested that Lightfoot say a few words to nearby grieving officers, but as she approached, they all walked away from her and to the other side of a bank of chairs — and turned their backs, the sources said.”
“They did the about-face — it looked like it had been choreographed,” said one of the sources present, calling it “astounding.”
Ald. Ray Lopez, who represents the 15th Ward, which borders the community where French was shot and killed, posted a photo to Facebook showing several officers at the hospital, with their backs facing the camera.
“They turned their back to the mayor just as she has turned her back on the rank and file time and time again,” he wrote.