Family, friends and colleagues began to say their goodbyes to fallen Chicago Police Officer Ella French on Wednesday, as her partner continues to heal in an area hospital bed after he was shot during the early August attack.
French, survived by her mother and four brothers, was honored Wednesday at a public visitation. Thousands showed up to pay their respects, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
The line wrapped around the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel throughout the day.
“It was just something we needed to do as Chicagoans,” Carlos Arnaud, a Chicago resident, said. “Everybody feels bad for her.”
After her casket was carried in a procession through Burbank and into the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, it was greeted by fellow officers from all over the city and suburbs.
“It was so powerful,” Marcelino Natividad said. “It’s a noble job that Chicago’s finest are doing. Always support and pray for them and their safety.”
Officer French was shot and killed during a traffic stop in the West Englewood neighborhood earlier this month. She was the first Chicago police officer to be killed in the line of duty since 2018, which was also the year that the 29-year-old joined the force.
French’s partner on the force, Officer Carlos Yanez, is continuing to recover at an area hospital, and his family released a video Wednesday to update supporters on his progress.
“Thank you for your support and your donations and your prayers. I love you all,” he said. “To my son CJ and my wife Brenda – I do this all for you.”
Yanez was critically injured in the shooting, and has been improving as the days and weeks have gone by, according to family and to police officials.
The officer was also on the minds of those mourning French on Wednesday.
“We’re praying for her family and her partner and for his speedy recovery,” Natividad said. “It’s been tough.”
French’s funeral is set for Thursday.