Ella French

Funeral, Visitation for Fallen Chicago Police Officer Ella French Set for Next Week

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Chicago Police Officer Ella French will be laid to rest next week, nearly two weeks after she was shot and killed and her partner critically wounded when a traffic stop turned violent.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown released visitation and funeral information Friday, encouraging all members of the department to "join in paying tribute" to the 29-year-old officer killed in the line of duty.

A visitation is set for 3-9 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Temple and a private funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday.

French joined the department in April 2018, according to police officials. She is the first Chicago police officer to be killed in the line of duty since officers Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmalejo were struck and killed by a Metra train while responding to a call of shots fired in Dec. 2018.

"During her short but courageous career, Officer French earned a Department Commendation, a Physical Fitness Award, and 14 Honorable Mentions," Brown said in his release.

She is survived by her mother and four brothers.

French's brother, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, called her "the best sister" and described her as a "humanitarian" and the "epitome of a good Samaritan."

"My sister’s always been a person of integrity," Andrew French told the Tribune. "She’s always done the right thing even when nobody’s looking. She’s always believed in people and believed in doing the right thing... She’s always believed in taking care of people that can’t take care of themselves."

Her colleagues described her in similar words.

“She truly showed the community that she loved them and would do anything for them," said fellow officer and colleague Kenneth Griffin.

French was killed after she and her partner were shot during a traffic stop late Saturday night in the city's West Englewood neighborhood.

Police said three officers stopped a car with three people inside near 63rd Street and Bell for expired plates.

When the officers approached the car, one of the vehicle’s occupants opened fire, according to authorities. French was shot in the head and her partner was also shot and remains in critical condition at a Chicago hospital.

On Saturday night, Keith Thornton experienced what he said was “one of the hardest shifts of my entire public safety career.” The Chicago dispatcher was working as two officers were shot during a traffic stop. One of them, 29-year-old Ella French, was killed and the other remains in critical condition.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled French’s death a homicide.

Two brothers have since been charged in the shooting. A third person was arrested but never charged.

"We will #NeverForget the true bravery [Officer French] exemplified as she laid her life down to protect others," Chicago police tweeted Sunday. "Please hold her family, loved ones and fellow Chicago Police officers in your thoughts as we grieve the loss of this hero."

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