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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Chicago has spent the first half of this week recovering from a difficult night last weekend that left police officer Ella French dead and her partner seriously wounded. We’d like to shine a light on a police dispatcher whose heroism from that night needs recognition.
In a hectic search for suspects and emotions rising among responding officers, the dispatcher became an important hub, relaying information to help capture the shooters and keep the wounded officers alive.
The dispatcher’s identity has not been confirmed yet. But on a night when the worst of Chicago was on display, one dispatcher’s actions represented our city at its best, the Editorial Board writes.
In reaction to the shooting, Chicago leaders have said now is a time for our city to come together. But in Letters to the Editor, Richard Barber of Mount Greenwood asks: Where is the outrage?
If this situation were reversed and the officers had shot the people in the car, there would be protests and marches, Barber writes. The same groups that find the time to protest an officer-involved shooting, where are they?
This weekend, the city will be represented on the big screen by Chicago gem and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson when she stars as Aretha Franklin in the Queen of Soul’s biopic “Respect.” Franklin herself chose Hudson for the role and Richard Roeper thinks that was the right decision. It’s hard to imagine anyone in the world doing more justice to the legacy of Aretha Franklin than Jennifer Hudson, he writes.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

A Chicago police officer rubs his eyes while standing with other officers outside the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday, before a procession for an officer, Ella French, who was shot and killed this past weekend. Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
A Chicago police officer rubs his eyes while standing with other officers outside the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday, before a procession for an officer, Ella French, who was shot and killed this past weekend. Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
If there was a bright spot in the senseless, difficult night last weekend that left police officer Ella French dead and her partner seriously wounded, it was the actions of an emergency dispatcher who brought calm, order and help during the critical moments after the shooting.
A 10 minute clip of police radio transmissions the night of Aug. 7 shows the dispatcher taking command of the situation following the shooting at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue.
“Two ambulances, two ambulances needed for two officers down, two officers down … six-three and Bell. I want a perimeter set up three blocks north, south, east, west of that location,” he says urgently.
Over the few next minutes, the dispatcher relays suspect descriptions, calls for a helicopter search and tells an officer to give Officer French chest compressions as a squad car rushes her to the hospital.
He even had the presence of mind to suggest taking one of the wounded officers to better-equipped University of Chicago trauma center, rather than nearby Holy Cross Hospital.
We’re not shy about taking city officials and employees to task on these pages whenever we feel they’ve fallen down in the job.
But here’s a city worker who appears to have done an exemplary job under the toughest circumstances. We couldn’t let it go unnoted here.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Richard Roeper on ‘Respect:’
Jennifer Hudson is the perfect choice to live Aretha Franklin’s story with powerful acting and vocals that sound authentic but not copied.
More editorials we published this week
Five questions for Chicago Park District in the wake of lifeguard sexual abuse scandal
Catholic archdiocese must work openly to preserve its historic Chicago churches
In your words
“An officer was killed and another officer fights for his life. Yet we hear and see nothing from those groups. Why?”
— Richard Barber, Mount Greenwood
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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