Ella French's final send-off skips 'sacred ritual' for fallen officers, cops enraged
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the event was 'sped up to avoid delaying the grieving family'
Ella French, 29, was killed during a violent traffic stop in Chicago on August 7. She, along with an unnamed colleague, was shot at by three suspects, two brothers Eric and Emonte Morgan and a woman amid the traffic stop. According to reports, Eric was on the street despite being charged in a hit-and-run months earlier while on probation. Emonte, on the other hand, confessed to the killing and was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
During Ella French's final send-off ceremony on Saturday, August 7, first Deputy Police Superintendent Eric Carter skipped a crucial ritual, the playing of bagpipes, which caused some uproar. Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot, however, defended the police officer alleging that the event was 'sped up to avoid delaying the grieving family', reports say. "Eric Carter made the right call. I support what he did. And I’m horrified that, in this moment, people are trying to savage him for whatever agenda or purpose," she said.
Speaking of the event, mayor Lori Lightfoot said, "There was no official honor guard that night. There was, let me choose my words carefully, [a] well-meaning but not well-organized group that wanted to hijack the procession, which would have meant that the family would have been delayed exponentially in getting to the morgue. Given the new restrictions that the new coroner has put in place, that wouldn’t have been fair to them. … So, a call was made under those circumstances to focus on the family."
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office noted earlier this week that rules for processions haven’t changed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. "First responders have always gathered in the office parking lot and dock to pay respects to fallen police officers and firefighters. At no time did personnel from the Medical Examiner’s Office try to impede officers or bagpipers, " the office said.
According to reports, cops were 'enraged' when Eric Carter skipped the 'sacred ritual' during Ella French's final send-off ceremony. "We don’t have 20 minutes for this s–t. We’re not waiting on the bagpipes. Go ahead and get the vehicle inside. Take it all the way inside. Do not stop, " Carter was heard saying in a recording.
Former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the bagpipes ritual for fallen officers was "sacred" and that it was "inexcusable" for Carter to skip it. Ella French is said to be the first cop who was killed in the line of duty since Lori Lightfoot became mayor of Chicago in 2019.