It was a week of cascading crises.
President Joe Biden got roasted.
Afghanistan got Taliban toasted.
California got scorched ... again.
Haiti got hammered by Mother Nature ... again.
COVID’s cousin, the Delta variant, exploded.
And finally, the heroic burial of Chicago police Officer Ella French, slaughtered at a routine South Side traffic stop with her gun holstered nearly two weeks ago.
“In a stunningly unexpected way, her tragic death seems to have opened up a pressure valve for police officers whose daily sacrifice seemed to be ignored,” said Rabbi Moshe Wolfe, a member of the Chicago police chaplain’s unit.
“The love and outpouring of respect for police since her death has been amazing,” he said.
“It’s noticeable now. People are waving at the police to signal their appreciation; food platters are being delivered and notes dropped off at police stations all over the city, in addition to many prayer vigils and police support gatherings.
“I haven’t seen anything like this in a long while.
“We know human beings make mistakes, but no way can police risk their lives daily without love and support,” he added. “Their lives are on the line regardless of the political climate.”
Police chaplain the Rev. Dan Brandt praised the kids manning two lemonade stands in Garfield Ridge and Mount Greenwood, who raised $16,400 this past week for the families of slain police officer French and her partner Carlos Yanez Jr., now hospitalized with catastrophic gunshot wounds at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Sneed is told the army of youths, several them children of Chicago Police Officers Brian Herman and Brian Doherty, were honored at the Brotherhood of the Fallen, founded by now-retired Officer Rick Caballero — which sends two uniformed Chicago police officers to funerals nationwide to honor officers killed in the line of duty. By the end of the Thursday evening, another $1,600 was tossed on stage at Plumbers Hall to up the children’s gift to $21,200.
Brandt also noted the “free food trucks at St. Rita High School feeding people standing in the long lines to attend Officer French’s wake,” said Brandt. “And throngs of people standing in overpasses and on top of their cars all along the way to the crematorium where her body was finally taken,” he added.
“But I lost it when a Canadian police officer in town for the funeral addressed the Brotherhood of the Fallen Thursday night.
“He said something stirred in him at Ella’s funeral … so when he left the church he called his two daughters he hadn’t talked to in months and went to church Sunday for the first time in 10 years — and couldn’t wait to return to Canada to the practice of his faith,” Brandt said.
“I again knew Ella’s soul was safe and her death was not in vain,” he said.
Former police Supt. Phil Cline, who also attended the funeral for French, tells Sneed: “Unfortunately, the Chicago Police Department is getting good at “HONORS” funerals for police officers killed in the line of duty.
“This was the largest (Chicago police) funeral I’ve ever attended — and I think everybody realized this young woman had given her life for the city,” he said — adding police support seems to be on the upswing via an overload of “reports from police officers being greeted by clapping and praise at restaurants all over the city.”
Cline, who heads the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families of police officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty, tells Sneed the police foundation just gave $60,000 to French’s mother to pay for funeral costs.
They have also advised the family of Yanez Jr. that they will pick up the entire cost of tuition through graduate school for his son, who is 2.
Sneed is told former Officers Cedric Brumley, who is a paraplegic, and Jim Mullen, a quadriplegic using a ventilator — both who suffered injuries in the line of duty decades ago — are lined up to help advise Yanez with his rehab.
A Soldier’s dictionary . . .
Military jargon at news debriefings by Pentagon spokesman [Admiral] John F. Kirby — since Afghanistan fell quickly to the Taliban — is being flung like flak at White House reporters.
Check out this lexicon!
- Tick points
- Sorting and sending
- Flow through
- Through foot
- Opening up the aperture
- Appropriate overwatch
Ya gotta be kidding me.
Sneedlings . . .
A calendar date: Sunday is the annual “Run to Remember,” a 5K run/walk along Chicago’s lakefront honoring 599 police officers killed in the line of duty since 1860. Be there. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Usain Bolt, 35; Brody Jenner, 38; Kacey Musgraves, 33 and Judge Ilana Rovner, 83. . . . Sunday birthdays: Dua Lipa, 26; Kristen Wiig, 48; Ty Burrell, 54, and Ald. Tom Tunney, 66.