Mayor Lightfoot Declares Flags At Half Staff After Two Chicago Police Officers Shot In West Englewood
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Lightfoot declared a day of mourning and called for all flags to be flown at half staff after two Chicago Police officers were shot over the weekend, one of them fatally.
A 29-year-old female officer was killed and a male officer was left in critical condition. Late Sunday, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the identity of the officer who was killed As Ella French.
She released a statement saying in part, "Please keep this officer in your prayers. Also keep the other officer who was shot in your prayers and his family and his friends and every day for the rest of his life, uplift him and support him. They will need our help as a city."
Lightfoot also addressed concerns she called "another issue that has been lashing our city for too long." Lightfoot said some believe the city does not do enough to help Chicago police or allow them to do their jobs while others believe police are not held accountable, "particularly in Black and brown neighborhoods," and called on anyone making those arguments to "just stop."
This was Lightfoot's full statement:
I am here as Mayor to declare today an official day of mourning for our city. All city buildings will wave flags at half-staff and I call upon all other private buildings to do the same. Tragedy has stuck, again. We mourn the loss of a young officer, and as I did privately in the early morning hours, I want to publicly offer condolences to her mother, her brother, family and friends.
Please keep this officer in your prayers. Also keep the other officer who was shot in your prayers and his family and his friends and every day for the rest of his life, uplift him and support him. They will need our help as a city.
Two young people, doing what we ask, service over self, commitment, and dedication.
I also want to address another issue that has been lashing our city for too long. There are some who say we do not do enough for the police and that we are handcuffing them from doing their jobs. There are others who say we do too much for the police and that we never hold them accountable for what they do, particularly in Black and brown neighborhoods.
All of this, I say, stop. Just stop. This constant strife is not what we need in this moment. Of course, we have to continue the journey to achieve constitutional and accountable policing. That cannot be in debate at this point.
But let me also reiterate what I have said before and what I know to be true: the police are not our enemies. They are human, just as we are. Flawed, just as we are, but also risking their lives every day for our safety and security. That reality became very real last night, in an emergency room, amongst tears and fears from the finest and the most courageous people I know. A mother lost her daughter last night. A brother his sister. A family forever shattered.
Another continues to keep vigil, at a hospital bed, sending up powerful prayers but no doubt fearing the worst. They are hurting, understandably so.
In moments like these, life gets boiled down to its basic essence. And so it will be for these two families.
For the rest of us. People of good will in this city, I urge you, we must come together. We must unite. We have a common enemy: it's the guns and the gangs. Eradicating both is complex, but we cannot let the size of the challenge deter us. We have to continue striking hard blows, every day. No gang member, no drug dealer, no gun dealer can ever have a moment of peace on any block, any neighborhood, not in our city.
And to get there, we must be united and single-minded in our determination to do just that. The moment that we are in has been decades in the making. But the manifestations are happening now, on my watch, on our watch. We have to be together in this moment, all of us, every block, every neighborhood. We have to reclaim the physical and moral territory. Shoulder to shoulder, fighting for each other, not against each other. We have a common enemy. Let's not lose sight of that.
Today, as we reflect and mourn, let's lift up the names of all of our victims of community violence. Say their names. Say their names and pray for the Lord to welcome the departed into a place where there is no more sorrow.
And also today, I ask this, when you see a police officer, say thank you. Say thank you. Devoted, dedicated officers reported for duty today, despite the pain of losing one of their own, and despite their fears and likely the fears of their families as they walk out the door to report for duty. These officers deserve to make it home safely today and every day. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we will never truly be able to truly repay. But let's not forget to try, every day. say thank you to Chicago police officers that you see today. Be grateful for their sacrifice and their service on behalf of us all.
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