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COPA Says Murdered Officer Should Be Suspended For Not Activating Her Bodycam

Chicago, IL – Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) on Wednesday recommended a three-day suspension for Chicago Police Officer Ella French in connection with a 2019 incident.

But Officer French was slain in the line of duty in August and now the police union is demanding an apology for the untimely public announcement of discipline, WGN reported.

“This is the latest example of why that agency has zero credibility in the eyes of every CPD officer,” Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said.

“We demand an apology immediately for the intentional harm caused to Ella’s family, friends and co-workers,” Catanzara continued.

This is the second time that the murdered hero has been disrespected by the city she gave her life to protect.

The night that she was fatally shot by a convicted felon, the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) second-in-command ignored a sacred ritual and refused to wait for the Emerald Society to play the bagpipes as a final send-off for the slain hero.

“We don’t have 20 minutes for this s—t!” CPD First Deputy Police Superintendent Eric Carter declared as the murdered officer’s body lay in a nearby ambulance, awaiting transport to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

On Nov. 10, three months after the 29-year-old officer was gunned down during a traffic stop, COPA released the summary report of an investigation into an incident that took place in February of 2019.

The report detailed a drug raid that was conducted at the wrong address and resulted in a naked social worker being handcuffed in her own home.

CPD Superintendent David Brown has recommended the termination of the sergeant who led the raid and COPA recommended that half of the officers involved in the incident be disciplined, WGN reported.

COPA’s report listed the recently-murdered Officer French as one of the officers who deserved to be disciplined for her actions.

“Officer French – COPA has considered Officer French’s complimentary history, her lack of prior disciplinary history, and her over 3 years of service to the Department, and her status as PPO at the time of the incident in mitigation,” the COPA report read.

“Officer French failed to timely activate her body-worn camera and failed to document the detention and search of the male and his vehicle in an Investigatory Stop Report. Accordingly, COPA recommends a 3-day SUSPENSION,” the report concluded.

The report failed to acknowledge that the young officer had lost her life in the line of duty prior to receiving the discipline recommendation, WGN reported.

Officer French was shot at about 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 7 in the 6300-block of South Bell Avenue, according to WLS.

Three officers were on scene of a traffic stop when at least one of the vehicle occupants opened fire, shooting two of the officers.

The suspected shooter was wounded in the gunfight, and was taken into custody along with two other suspects.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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