By Mark Weyermuller, Opinion Contributor
Several thousand people attended the funeral for Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Preston. She was shot and killed in front of her home after finishing her night shift as a patrol vehicle on May 10, 2023. Four suspects have been arrested, ages 16-18 years old.
The funeral was held at the Trinity United Church of Christ on the south side of Chicago. At the end of the funeral, new Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson gave Officer Preston’s mom and two sisters a folded Chicago flag. Bagpipes then played Amazing Grace while several news helicopters circled overhead.
The funeral procession then headed to the cemetery followed by hundreds of police cars from Illinois and around the country. As the church was filled, others watched the service outside on video screens. Hundreds of officers did multiple hand salutes outside during the funeral while the casket was placed in the hearse.
Preston was just 24 years old, joining the police department in November 2020. Her badge number, Star #15870 will be added to a memorial honoring officers killed in the line of duty.
Preston is the 597th Chicago Police Officer killed in the line of duty since its inception in 1835.
Last year, there were 723 homicides in Chicago; 847 homicides in 2021. Of those murders, 80 of the victims were Chicago Public School students.
What can be done to stop the violence in Chicago?