Memorial services begin for fallen Chicago officer Ella French

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Memorial services for fallen CPD officer Ella French began Wednesday on the Southwest Side.

A visitation for French is taking place from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel at 7740 South Western Avenue. Flags in Illinois are also ordered to be raised at half-staff until Thursday evening to remember the life of the 29-year-old officer.

French’s funeral services will be at the same location on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. Cardinal Blase Cupich will preside over her funeral mass.

Fallen CPD officer Ella French

Officer French was killed during a traffic stop on the city’s Southwest Side on Aug. 7. A second officer, her partner Carlos Yanez Jr., was critically injured and remains hospitalized.

He released a video from his hospital room Wednesday thanking everyone for their support.

Adopted as a foster child at the age of one, French leaves behind a mother and brother. Her mother told the Sun-Times she graduated from Downers Grove North High School, but also spent time at Wentworth Military Academy and College in Lexington, Missouri.

After spending one year at the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, French moved to the Chicago Police Department.

The two brothers charged in the fatal shooting of French were ordered to be held without bond.

French started out in the 10th District before moving to the city’s Community Response Team. On July 1, French helped save the life of a 1-month-old baby who was injured in a mass shooting on the South Side.


As news spread of the deadly shooting, Terriana Smith’s mother noticed a familiar face and instantly called her brother, Charles McKenzie.

“She said, ‘that’s the officer who transported me and your niece to the hospital,’” McKenzie said.

WGN cameras caught French helping get Smith into the emergency room shortly after the shooting.

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