(CHICAGO) — The wife of a Chicago police commander killed last week during a foot chase in the heart of the city has written a powerful letter to the city and country.
Erin Bauer, the wife of slain commander Paul Bauer, described the emotion of seeing the city turn out in force to show their support for her husband on the day of his funeral. Her letter was released by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
“Our hearts are broken in a million pieces and our lives are forever changed,” she wrote. “But that’s not the reason I am writing. I am writing to thank the people of Chicago for the outpouring of love and support at this horrendous time in our lives.”
She went on, “I want to thank those of you who waited for hours in the cold to attend his wake and funeral. There were families with small children waiting in the bitter cold to say a prayer, hold a homemade sign or wave a flag.”
“I saw each and every one of you from the darkened window of my car,” she added, referencing the hundreds of people who stood on overpasses and along roadways to watch the funeral procession.
Bauer was shot six times in a stairwell at the city’s Thompson Center last week by convicted felon Shomari Legghette following a foot chase that started when officers on a narcotics patrol approached the suspect.
Bauer was sitting in his squad car nearby, waiting to attend a meeting at City Hall when he heard calls for assistance over the police radio and responded.
Legghette has been charged with first-degree murder of a police officer and is being held without bond.
“One man almost stole my faith in humanity, but the city of Chicago and the rest of the nation restored it, and I want to thank you for that,” Bauer concluded in her letter.
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