Chicago alderman says it's clear police don't get enough support from City Hall
CHICAGO - The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation will be giving a $60,000 check to the family of Ella French, the Chicago police officer shot to death on Saturday.
But they're also asking questions about why so many Chicago cops are in the line of fire.
"I don't think the gangbangers have any fear of the police," said former Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline, who now heads the Police Memorial Foundation.
Cline says he's never seen anything like it.
Thirty-eight Chicago police officers have been fired upon so far this year, and 11 of them hit.
On Saturday night, 29-year-old Officer Ella French was shot to death during a traffic stop in West Englewood. Her partner is fighting for his life now with a gunshot wound to the head.
Two men have been charged in the shooting.
Cline says French’s family will get some help from the foundation.
"The mother's going through a traumatic incident here, so we'll reach out to the family and we're gonna give mom a check for $60,000 dollars cause there's gonna be expenses," Cline said.
19th Ward Alderman Matt O'Shea represents South Side neighborhoods filled with Chicago cops, and signs of support up and down Western Avenue.
O'Shea says it's a complicated problem, but it's clear police don't get enough support from City Hall.
"It's an utter failure in the judicial system," said O'Shea. "We see thousands of criminals released. When I talk to police officers on the street, I hear repeatedly they feel that leadership in the city, people in the city, do not support them."
And O'Shea said the number of cops on the force is down nearly 1,000 compared to just a couple years ago, with early retirements and fewer heading to the academy.
"These cops are coaches. They're Boy Scout leaders. They're parishioners sitting next to you in church," said Cline. "They all want to go home to their family at the end of the day."