Page 36 - October 2021
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for the changes and initially timid but in no time he was mas- saging his Papi’s legs and showing him love and affection. ...We were talking about what a miracle it is that he can move his right arm and he said, “and my right leg.” ...When asked if there is a message we can send out he said, “Thank you, everyone.” And he blew a kiss. ...Throughout all of this we have never stopped thinking of Officer French and her family. We are also grateful to Officer Blas for everything he did. ...God-willing he WILL recover from this. It might take years, but he was not taken from us for a reason.
This update comes from a conversation with Nicole that erupt- ed in tears of joy a few times:
October 2
He was shot five times. Four bullets are still in him. One grazed the back of his head. But to be shot five times and then weeks later try to cheer us up or makes us laugh. With his coworkers, he really puts on a strong face. And that’s him. He is strong. It’s just a strength that’s almost super-hu- man. I don’t know why. It’s a miracle honestly.
“Honestly, as a physician, I wasn’t even sure if he was going to make it, so I think for him to be where he is now is just incredible. And you can see it in his face,” Nicole confided. “There’s compo- nents of a miracle. I think there’s definitely his optimism, his will and his resilience. And when I think of CarlosStrong, I think about the grace of God. And he has told me that this has made his faith stronger.”
When Junior went into intensive care, Carlos Sr.’s wife, Yvette, hung a shirt in his room emblazoned with the words, “God’s not done with me yet.” Junior saw the shirt when he regained con- sciousness, and that ignited the inspiration, the power of Carlos.
Senior relates that every officer he meets is thankful that Junior is alive. Of course they are, and they express that to each other as the posts go up or reports go out from the Department updating Junior’s progress and improvements.
What’s more, Junior’s recovery has galvanized a Department that has been battered and beaten in every way and perhaps hit
     Police Officer Ella French, Star #15013
Police Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., Star #16022
Police Officer Joshua Blas, Star #14751
We honor these officers with the FOP Award of Valor, the FOP’s highest award an officer can receive.
On the night of Aug. 7, while on patrol in the West Engle- wood neighborhood, Officers French, Yanez Jr. and Blas con- ducted a lawful traffic stop of a vehicle. The officers exited the squad car and approached the offenders’ vehicle. The officers lawfully requested that the driver and passengers exit their ve- hicle so they could further conduct their investigation.
At this time, the routine traffic stop turned deadly. The offending driver fled the scene on foot and was pursued by Officer Blas. The backseat passenger, who was armed with a handgun, began to resist and struggle with Officer Yanez Jr. Officer French immediately reacted and came to the aid of her partner.
During the struggle to aid her partner with this armed of- fender, Officer French was shot by the offender. Officer Yanez Jr. was then shot three times by this armed offender and be- came incapacitated by his injuries.
Hearing the gunfire, Officer Blas came to his partners’ aid
and was fired upon by the same armed offender. Officer Blas was able to return fire, striking the offender twice, neutraliz- ing the threat. Officer Blas radioed for assist cars and gave a description and the direction of flight of the offenders, which led to their capture and arrest.
Officer Blas and responding units rendered aid to Officers French and Yanez Jr. by placing the officers in the backs of squad cars and transporting them to an area hospital. Officer Yanez Jr. survived his life-threatening injuries and continues to courageously fight to recover.
Officer French, who was violently murdered, gave her life to help protect her partners and the citizens of Chicago. To the family and friends of Officer French: Although she is no lon- ger with us, she will continue to live on every time we say her name. Officer Ella French, “We will never forget!”
It is with great honor and appreciation that FOP Chicago Lodge 7 presents Officer Blas, Officer Yanez Jr. and the fami- ly of Officer French with the Award of Valor.

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