Smear job? Chicago police agency recommends 3-day suspension for slain officer Ella French

The suspension is regarding a police raid that occurred in 2019, which involved officer Ella French, who was killed in the line of duty this past August.
Thousands gather to mourn fallen Chicago Police Officer Ella French during her funeral mass at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel in Chicago, United States on August 19, 2021.

November 14, 2021 6:20pm

Updated: November 14, 2021 8:31pm

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

President of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, was upset with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) for including French's name following her death.

"This is the latest example of why that agency has zero credibility in the eyes of every CPD officer," Catanzara told WGN. "We demand an apology immediately for the intentional harm caused to Ella's family, friends and co-workers."

The report was completed in April, a COPA spokesperson told Fox News, and the agency was prevented from removing French's name in releasing the report due to city ordinances.

"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," the statement from COPA said.

"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."

The COPA report reviewed the Feb. 21, 2019 police raid involving French, where Young, 50, was undressing for bed when police officers busted through her front door to execute a search warrant that was actually for a suspect living several houses away, according to Fox 32 Chicago.

Young was handcuffed before she could get dressed as police searched her home for the suspect.

Following French's death, Young said French was the only officer who showed "dignity or respect," as she removed the handcuffs and turned off her body camera to allow Young to get dressed, according to her lawsuit against the city.

The COPA report recommended French's suspension for turning off her body camera and not documenting a "detention and search of the male and his vehicle" during 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 said.