Chicago Police

Live Coverage: Thursday Funeral to Honor Fallen Chicago Officer Ella French

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NOTE: Live coverage of the funeral and procession will be streamed in the player above beginning at 10 a.m. CT Thursday.

A funeral will be held Thursday for Chicago Police Officer Ella French, who was shot and killed when a traffic stop turned violent earlier this month.

The private service is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Temple. It will be followed by a procession to the crematorium.

Live coverage will be streamed on NBC 5 of the service inside the church as well as the procession.

The funeral follows a visitation set for Wednesday afternoon and evening at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Temple.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown encouraged all members of the department to "join in paying tribute" to the 29-year-old officer killed in the line of duty on Aug. 7.

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 late-night traffic stop in the city's West Englewood neighborhood.

Police said 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 the following day. "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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