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The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s review of a 2019 botched police raid on the wrong home said half the officers involved should face consequences including Officer Ella French, 29, pictured, despite the face she was shot dead in August
A Chicago police review agency that recommended eight officers involved in the botched 2019 raid of a social worker be suspended or fired is being harshly criticized for including the name of Officer Ella French, who was later shot dead during an August traffic stop.
The raid on Anjanette Young saw officers swoop in on her home only to later find they had busted the wrong address.
Upon hearing of her death just over 16 months later, Young praised French’s conduct saying she was the only person who ‘treated her with dignity’.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, members of the City Council, the president of the city’s police officers’ union and a brother of the slain officer all decried what Lightfoot called the ‘height of tone-deafness’ to recommend that Officer French be suspended for three days.
A spokesman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) explained that while the report on the raid of the home of Young was made public this week, it was completed in late April – months before French was killed. He said that a city ordinance prohibits the agency from redacting the information regarding French.
French, 29, was killed in August by a single shot to the head and she and her partner approached a car during a what-appeared-to-be a routine traffic stop.
The situation spiraled out of control when one of the people in the car did not to cooperate and refused to place his drink and cell phone on the ground.
Police officer Carlos Yanez, 40, has released a moving video thanking supporters and donors after being shot and paralyzed in the line of duty in Chicago in August
Monte Morgan got out of the vehicle and managed to pull a .22 caliber handgun on the officers firing several shots towards the pair, hitting French in the head and Officer Carlos Yanez in the right eye and shoulder.
French and Yanez had their guns holstered the ‘entire time’ of the incident following a policy change that critics have said simply ’embolden criminals and render police sitting ducks.’
Chicago police union boss John Catanzara told Fox News that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had to shoulder some of the blame for French’s death due to the city’s soft stance on crime.
Anjanette Young, left, released a statement earlier this year, mourning the loss of Chicago police officer Ella French noting that the officer was the only one who ‘treated her with dignity’
In reference to French’s earlier 2019 raid, ‘following the review and concurrence by the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, as well as serving of administrative charges, we carefully considered the release of the report and its impact on Ms. Anjanette Young and Ella French´s family,’ Ephraim Eaddy, Chief Spokesperson to COPA said in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times.
‘We honor the service Officer French gave to our city and mourn her death and also hope the release of the report brings further closure to Ms. Anjanette Young.’
COPA recommended the suspension because French failed to wear a body-worn camera when she arrived at Young’s home.
But Young, who was handcuffed by officers when she was naked after they stormed into what turned out to be the wrong address, praised French as the one officer who treated her with ‘dignity and respect’ that night.
In a statement, John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said the police oversight agency has ‘zero credibility’ and demanded an apology.
‘This is the latest example of why that agency has zero credibility in the eyes of every CPD officer,’ Catanzara said. ‘We demand an apology immediately for the intentional harm caused to Ella’s family, friends and co-workers.’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested that COPA could have taken that praise by Young into consideration before including French’s name in the report.
Young, a social worker, said French was the only officer who treated her with ‘dignity and respect’ after a wrongful raid on her home in 2019, during which she was naked (pictured)
French (circled in red) was not part of the all-male raid team in 2019 and arrived later on
Young said French (circled above) allowed her to get dressed in the privacy of her bedroom
A report found fault with French’s actions during a 2019 raid having failed to activate her body-cam and document detention and search of a man and his car
‘They could have taken different action, particularly in light of the fact that Ms. Young herself said that Officer French showed her respect and treated her with dignity,’ the mayor said on Friday. ‘It just doesn’t make sense that COPA made this decision.’
The officer’s brother, Andrew French, was even more blistering in his critique of COPA. ‘This is disgraceful,’ he told WGN-TV. ‘This is disrespectful to her name, disrespectful on so many levels.’
And Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown expressed disappointment that COPA included the name of French, whom he called a ‘hero,’ in the report. ‘Failing to acknowledge her death in the line of duty and redact her name from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s report is unnecessarily insensitive,’ he said in a statement.
French was killed and Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. was critically wounded when a man in an SUV they had pulled over opened fire.
The man and his brother, who authorities say was also at the scene and involved in the shooting, have been charged with murder and attempted murder.
A photograph of fallen Chicago police Officer Ella French is held at her funeral in August. French was killed and her partner was seriously wounded during a traffic stop
Norfolk Southern Special Agent Hugo River prays at the memorial for Chicago police Officer Ella French in August