You can just tell from thephotos that she was kind. As a police officer on Chicago’s South Side, Ella French witnessed more than her fair share of violence. But in every photo, she smiles like someone who refuses to be corrupted or beaten down by evil. It’s not a naive smile, but a forgiving one—the kind that acknowledges the flaws of others, but chooses to remain hopeful in them and our world.
At 29 years old, French gave everything she had to her neighbors and her city. Just this July, she played a prominent role in saving the life of a one-month-old baby, during a South Side mass shooting.
A month later, French was the one in need of saving. She willingly ventured into the night as a member of the Chicago Police Department’s Community Safety Team, which was “designed to forge stronger ties with people on the South Side and the West Side.” On the night of August 7, she didn’t come home.
French and her partner were gunned down on Chicago’s South Side during a routine traffic stop. She died shortly afterward, and her partner remainsin critical condition. Officer Carlos Yanez is paralyzed with a bullet lodged in his brain, with additional wounds from gunshots to the eye and shoulder. His wife and almost three-year-old son are among countless Americans fervently hoping he recovers.
Meanwhile, French’s family is reckoning with the sudden, senseless loss of their loved one. “I wake up every morning, and I start crying because my day doesn‘t have my daughter anymore,” French’s mother told the Chicago Sun-Times. “The few times I’ve turned on the TV, it distresses me to see her picture and her name with the word ‘killed.’ It’s just so hard.” She never thought she’d bury her daughter. But, on Thursday, she did just that.
As thousands gathered at French’s funeral, their message of solidarity was clear: America cannot tolerate such senseless slaughter.
It’s time to vocalize that blue lives matter. Civilian lives matter. All lives matter. In the coming days and months, this message should be the rallying cry of all Americans. We cannot tolerate a lawless regime that encourages its people to be gunned down in the streets.
Crime is surging across our country. If our “leaders” won’t do the work to support our police officers so that they can impose law and order and live to tell about it, then the American people must hold its failed leaders accountable. We must demand, and work toward, better.
Chicago Is a Disaster and So Is Its Leadership
Unsurprisingly, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her colleagues responded to French’s slaughter with characteristic ineptitude. Their lousy leadership merits elaboration, because it’s indicative of just how poorly our “leaders” often respond to the people’s suffering.
After French was slain, Lightfoot had the nerve to whine about negative press coverage. As she made clear in her heated response to a reporter, she does not tolerate criticism, and last week was a particularly bad press week for her. Meanwhile, Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown haven’t even focused on French long enough to consistently get her name right.
It gets worse. When it came time for the traditional honor guard and bagpipe salute to honor French’s life, First Deputy Police Superintendent Eric Carter reportedly canceled it. “We’re not waiting on the bagpipes,” he allegedly announced. “We don’t have 20 minutes for this sh-t.”
Lightfoot tried to defend Carter’s decision, by sharing the disputed claim that the procession had to be rushed due to “COVID concerns,” among other excuses. The message to Chicagoans was clear: Lightfoot can celebrate at Lollapalooza all she wants, but when a young woman is gunned down in uniform, COVID theater comes back into effect.
As of August 17, total homicides, total shootings, criminal sexual assault, vehicular hijackings, and aggravated assault are all surging in Lightfoot’s city. In this climate of inexcusable lawlessness, two felons have been identified and charged in the attack on French and Yanez, one of whom was already facing charges in connection with a hit-and-run four months ago.
To make matters even more despicable, 7-year-old Serenity Broughton was shot to death on Chicago’s Northwest Side on Sunday, while her 6-year-old sister is recovering from her own gunshot wound. The killer appears to be on the run. Last I checked, Black Lives Matter was silent about this.
None of this is surprising. Welcome to Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.
Ella French Was Murdered in Cold Blood, and Our Cities Aren’t Burning
Clearly, America’surbancentersare devolving into epicenters of violence and bloodshed right before our eyes. But if you’re patting yourself on the back right now because you escaped America’s skyscrapers and urban slums, stop.
Our cities are “Exhibit A” in the leftist machine’s willful neglect of Americans’ suffering, but they’re just that: evidence of a much larger problem. The same elitist mentality that dismissed Donald Trump supporters as “deplorable,” “stinky Walmart shoppers” applies to any American who doesn’t fit the left’s narrative.
French was slain in cold blood, but virtue-signaling celebrities don’t post en masse in her honor. Corporate behemoths and SJW’s don’t rush to perform their “empathy.” Americans don’t march from coast to coast.
The leftist machine knows how to manufacture outrage, but it has no real concern for the little guy. When violent BLM riotersterrorized businesses and burned Americans’ life savings last summer, the media’s talking headsmade excuses for the lawbreakers. And when the New York Post reported that BLM co-founder (and self-described Marxist) Patrisse Khan-Cullors had gone on a multi-million-dollar real estate shopping spree, Big Tech censored the story.
As the machine shapes the narrative and disregards huge swaths of American suffering, crime soars. Democrat mayors enjoy their own security, but they defund local police forces. They claim benefits they want to deny from you.
If you don’t believe me, just watch U.S. Rep. Cori Bush attempt to justify her own private security, while calling to take away your protection. She and her leftist colleagues live by the motto “safety for me, but not for thee.” They want to live in a regime that treats them as special. Don’t let them.
It’s Time for Americans to Stand Up against the Machine
If you point out the leftist machine’s corrupt tactics, you’ll be slandered as a racist, despicable human being. As Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech recently said, “Americans who reject the woke and show they are wide awake are denounced by nattering elites and their media handmaidens as extremist, as dangerous, and — this is rich — as white supremacists. It’s a lie and no one believes it. Not even them.” So, stop playing by the machine’s rules. Stop capitulating to their lies and selling yourself out in the process.
As Chicago’s police officers mourned the loss of their colleague and friend, they turned their backs on Lightfoot. In one defiant gesture, they collectively communicated what so many of us have been thinking for so long. Many of our “leaders” turned their backs on all of us long ago. So turn your backs on them.
Stop voting for corrupt politicians who destroy our country. Primary and vote the swamp creatures out of office. And in the meantime, thank your local police officers for their heroism, buy them coffee, and pray they return home safely at night.
Following the shooting of Officers French and Yanez, Chicagoans held “Support The Police Prayer Rallies” to honor the city’s police officers. Go to events like that. And if they’re not already scheduled in your area, organize one yourself. Get to know your neighbors, work together, and demand better of yourself and your community.
I’m not so naive as to believe in utopia. Evildoers will always enact heinous crimes, and there’s no perfect solution to make that stop. But there are better and worse responses to such evil. Clearly, Lightfoot isn’t capable of true leadership, and neither are her colleagues. They won’t hold themselves accountable, so the American people must.
The machine’s elites are powerful, but so are hard-working Americans. Remind them of that. And keep saying the names of our fallen heroes.
There are a few scam @gofundme accounts going around. If you would like to donate, @FOP7Chicago has a link that pops up right on our website.
— Fraternal Order of Police – Chicago Lodge #7 (@FOP7Chicago) August 9, 2021
Chicago Police officer Ella French was killed during a traffic stop last week. Her partner Carlos was shot multiple times. Carlos is also partners with my best friend from HS. They’ve set this up for Carlos & his family as he recovers. Plz help if you can. https://t.co/0QbBgVRZhT
Audrey Unverferth is the Chicago Thinker's Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Emerita. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Chicago in 2022 with degrees in Russian & East European Studies (With Honors) and Law, Letters, and Society. Her commentary has been featured by Tucker Carlson Tonight, the Ingraham Angle, The New York Post, and The Daily Wire, among others. Follow her on Twitter @audrey__unver or email firstname.lastname@example.org.