More than two dozen Chicago police officers turned their backs on Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a hospital after two officers were sho, including a retired cop who blamed her for the brazen gun attack, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Lightfoot approached the hostile Chicago Police Department rank and file about midnight Saturday at the University of Chicago Medical Center after Police Officer Ella French was fatally shot and her male partner critically wounded during a traffic stop Saturday night.
Just moments before about 30 officers turned their backs on the mayor, Lightfoot tried to talk to the male officer’s father, a retired Chicago police officer, the Sun-Times reported, citing two unnamed sources.
The father furiously called her out for the brazen attack; one source told the news outlet she listened to him and was respectful.
It was then suggested Lightfoot say a few words to nearby grieving officers, but as she approached, they all walked away from her and to the other side of a bank of chairs — and turned their backs, the news outlet reported.
“They did the about-face — it looked like it had been choreographed,” one source told the news outlet, calling it “astounding.”
Lightfoot appeared shaken, the news outlet quoted one of the sources observing.
“The police officers’ decision to turn their backs on the mayor while waiting with the family on the seventh floor was significant,” Fraternal Order of Police president John Catanzara told the Sun-Times.
“Turning their backs on the mayor was an excellent example of how the hundreds of police officers felt waiting outside the hospital,” he told the news outlet, adding officers no longer support Lightfoot’s leadership.
City Alderman Anthony Napolitano, a former city cop and firefighter, said he didn’t believe Lightfoot was entirely anti-police — but that progressive politics are to blame.
“I never saw her as an anti-police advocate. But I will put this 550 percent on these socialists and these progressives in the city council. This blood is on their hands, without a doubt,” he told the Sun-Times.
“They have had enough and are no longer going to remain silent anymore.”
In a statement Monday, the mayor’s office said in part: “In a time of tragedy, emotions run high and that is to be expected. The mayor spoke to a range of officers that tragic night and sensed the overwhelming sentiment was about concern for their fallen colleagues.”
“As the mayor stated . . . now is not the time for divisive and toxic rhetoric or reporting. This is a time for us to come together as a city. We have a common enemy and it is the conditions that breed the violence and the manifestations of violence, namely illegal guns, and gangs,” the statement said, the Sun-Times reported.
Three people have been arrested in the shooting, the Sun-Times reported.