Lightfoot's pick to lead COPA apologizes for report that recommended Officer French be suspended

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pick to lead the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) has issued an apology following the release of a report in which the police board recommended disciplinary measures for fallen Officer Ella French.

"I have profound regret and sadness that the work of our agency has in any way hurt the French family and those who mourn her and I will work steadfastly to ensure a situation like this never happens again," Andrea Kersten said.

The police board’s report recommended Officer French be suspended for a botched police raid in 2019.

Kersten was in the hot seat Thursday night at a Chicago police board meeting.


Kersten says the report was made in late April, four months before Officer French was killed in the line of duty. She said there is no process for altering reports once they are finalized.

"I would welcome a conversation to examine a process for insuring a situation like this never happens again," Kersten said. "This situation certainly brings to light that there is a profound lack of process around how officers and their families receive this information."

Twenty aldermen sent a letter to Mayor Lightfoot saying they oppose Kersten’s nomination. A majority must approve that nomination before she officially gets the job.