They turned away and gave her their backs.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot was given the cold shoulder by CPD rank and file about midnight Saturday at the University of Chicago Medical Center when she approached them on the 7th floor as they grappled with the shootings of two fellow officers.
Chicago Police Officer Ella French was shot and killed during a traffic stop Saturday night in West Englewood, while her partner continues to fight for his life at the hospital. Three people are in custody.
Just moments before more than a dozen officers turned their backs on the mayor, Lightfoot tried to talk to the male officer’s father, who himself is a retired Chicago police officer. He clearly wanted nothing to do with Lightfoot, according to two sources who were there.
The father excoriated the mayor and blamed her for what had happened. One source said Lightfoot handled herself well as the father yelled at her. She listened and treated him with respect.
It was then suggested that Lightfoot say a few words to nearby grieving officers, but as she approached, “they did the about-face — it looked like it had been choreographed,” said one of the sources present, calling it “astounding.”
Lightfoot then went downstairs to speak to reporters at a news conference about the shooting.
“The police officers’ decision to turn their backs on the mayor while waiting with the family on the 7th floor was significant,” FOP President John Catanzara told me in an interview.
“Turning their backs on the mayor was an excellent example of how the hundreds of police officers felt waiting outside the hospital,” Catanzara said.
Officers no longer support Lightfoot’s leadership, Catanzara said.
“They have had enough and are no longer going to remain silent anymore.”
The mayor’s office had no immediate response to a request for comment.