Anna Kochakian: Chicago woman arrested for defacing hero cop Ella French's memorial
A 26-year-old woman has been arrested by Illinois authorities after she allegedly defaced a memorial for slain Chicago Police Officer Ella French, who tragically lost her life in a shootout with suspects last year.
State police revealed on Wednesday, February 9, how Anna Kochakian allegedly tore down a photo of French placed at the memorial. The incident had occured just days after her death in August last year. Kochakian proceeded to crumple up the photo and threw it in a trash can on a Chicago "L" platform. Police, however, obtained a warrant for Kochakian's arrest only this week on a felony count of defacement of a police memorial. She was apprehended at her home around 10 am, police said.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown tweeted, “The offender was arrested using the handcuffs of Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., her partner. This was a moment of justice for Ella, her family, the Chicago Police Department, and all those who knew and loved Ella.” Kochakian, who is charged with defacement of a police memorial, a Class 4 felony, is due back in court Thursday, February 10, for a bond hearing.
Officer French's legacy will not be tarnished by the detestable acts committed by this offender. Despite the actions committed by this individual, her legacy and all she stood for continues to live on. We will #NeverForget what she did to protect Chicago. https://t.co/dycUFZq7gp— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) February 9, 2022
The 40-year-old Officer Carlos Yanez survived two gunshot wounds to the head during the shootout that claimed French's life. According to the New York Post, his injuries could potentially leave him permanently disabled. As of date, brothers Monty and Eric Morgan have been charged in connection with the incident. Monty is said to have opened fire on officers.
During a traffic stop on August 7, 2021, Monty allegedly opened fire on officers, killing French, 29, and wounding Yanez. Eric Morgan was the one driving the car, per the police report. It wasn't until a third officer returned fire and struck Monty in the stomach that the brothers were taken into custody. Monty was charged with the first-degree murder of a peace officer and attempted murder. Meanwhile, Eric faces firearms and obstruction charges.
Formal announcement by Chicago Police for Officer Ella French— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) August 8, 2021
“End of Watch: August 7, 2021” pic.twitter.com/ZalPDHFPHl
In November, a police watchdog report showered praise on French for being one among the few officers who tried to help a Chicago woman "protect [her] dignity” during a wrongful raid on her home. Anjanette Young, who sued the city over the raid, said French was the only officer who treated her with “any dignity or respect” that night in 2019.
Young publicly lauded French’s actions during the raid. “Officer French assisted Ms. Young and allowed her to get dressed, in the privacy of her bedroom,” a spokesperson for Young said in a statement. “Officer French was the only officer who showed Ms. Young any dignity or respect on the night of the raid. Ms. Young is praying for Officer French’s family and offers her sincerest condolences to them and all of Officer French’s friends and colleagues.” According to WGN-TV, French was also credited with saving the life of a newborn baby that was wounded during a July mass shooting in Englewood.
Thousands attended French's funeral to pay their respects and bid farewell to the hero cop. “The city of Chicago mourns the loss of one of our finest,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement at the time. “My heart hurts for the family, friends, and colleagues of officer Ella French, as we lay her to rest today. May the memories of how she lived carry her loved ones during this difficult time.”