Chicago Police watchdog recommended three-day suspension for slain officer Ella French

Chicago police salute Ella French, officer killed in line of duty

Fox News ‘Outnumbered’ on Chicago police mourning loss of officer Ella French.

The oversight agency for the Chicago Police Department released a report last week from its review of a February 2019 police raid, revealing it had recommended a three-day suspension for Ella French, the police officer killed during a traffic stop in August. 

The inclusion of French’s name in the Civilian Office of Police Accountability report after her death had the police union president fuming. 

In a statement to WGN, 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.”

A spokesperson for COPA told Fox News the report was completed in April, and city ordinances prevented the agency from removing Officer French’s name upon its release of the report.

“COPA’s summary report and investigation into the raid on Ms. Anjanette Young’s residence by members of the Chicago Police Department was completed on April 27, 2021,” according to a statement from COPA. 

Chicago Police Department officer Ella French

“Per ordinance (Municipal Code of Chicago 2-78-145), COPA must make reports open to public inspection. COPA can only redact information to the extent it is exempted from disclosure by the Freedom of Information Act or any other applicable law. COPA released the report, previously completed April 27, 2021, as required by ordinance.”

“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.

“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 released its report about its review of the Feb. 21, 2019 police call involving French at Young’s home last week. When Chicago Police officers raided the home, Young, 50, was getting undressed for bed while police officers broke open the front door and executed a search warrant, according to Fox 32 Chicago.

Young was handcuffed while she was naked and police searched her home for a suspect, who lived several houses away, according to the station’s report.

Police Officer Ella French was among those shot and killed this past weekend in Chicago.
(Chicago Police)

After French was killed, Young told Fox 32 Chicago French was the only officer who showed “dignity or respect” that day while the search warrant was executed.

According to a lawsuit Young has filed against the city, Officer French removed Young’s handcuffs and turned off her body camera, allowing Young to get dressed.

The body of slain Chicago police officer Ella French is carried into the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, for a wake. French was killed and her partner was seriously wounded during an Aug. 7  traffic stop on the city’s South Side.  
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

COPA faulted French for turning off her body camera that day and for failing to document a “detention and search” of a male and his vehicle the night of the raid. 

“COPA has considered Officer French’s complimentary history, her lack of prior disciplinary history, and her over three years of service to the department, and her status as PPO at the time of the incident in mitigation. 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 three-day suspension” the report states.

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