Chicago Police Officer Ella French’s Alleged Killer Set to Go to Trial This Week

Chicago police Officer Ella French (@TomAhernCPD / Twitter)Chicago police Officer Ella French (@TomAhernCPD / Twitter)

The man accused of gunning down Chicago police Officer Ella French and critically wounding her partner during a 2021 traffic stop in Englewood is set to go to trial on murder charges this week.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Jury selection in the trial of Emonte Morgan is set to begin Monday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building — more than two and a half years after he allegedly shot and killed the 29-year-old police officer.

Morgan, 23, faces first-degree murder and other felony charges.

According to Cook County prosecutors, French was driving on patrol on Aug. 7, 2021, with her partner, Officer Carloz Yanez Jr., and Officer Joshua Blas when they pulled over an SUV with expired license plates driven by Morgan’s brother Eric Morgan near 63rd Street and Bell Avenue.

French walked to the driver’s side of the vehicle and took the car keys from Eric Morgan, who allegedly admitted that he had marijuana on him. He was ordered to get out of the car.

The other officers ordered Emonte Morgan to get out of the car, and he exited with an open drink and a cellphone in hand, prosecutors said. He allegedly refused to set those items down, and soon began struggling with the officers.

The intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in Chicago. (WTTW News)The intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in Chicago. (WTTW News)

As this happened, Eric Morgan tried to run and was chased by Blas, according to prosecutors, while Yanez continued struggling with Emonte Morgan at the back of the SUV.

Those two moved toward the open front passenger door, with Yanez yelling at Emonte Morgan to show his hands, prosecutors said. As French came over to assist, Emonte Morgan allegedly fired multiple shots, striking both French and Yanez in the head.

French was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she died. Yanez was shot multiple times and critically wounded, but survived his injuries.

Both Morgan brothers were subsequently taken into custody.

Chicago police officers are expected to attend Emonte Morgan’s trial en masse. Prosecutors are set to show jurors body camera footage of the shooting and its immediate aftermath.

Eric Morgan — who faced charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice — reached a plea agreement in October.

He received a seven-year sentence on the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge; that sentence will be served concurrently with a five-year sentence on an aggravated battery charge and a three-year sentence on an obstruction of justice charge.

Jamel Danzy, who pleaded guilty to straw purchasing the firearm used to kill French, was sentenced in December 2022 to 30 months in federal prison. He is set to be released late this year.

Both Yanez and Blas spoke during his sentencing hearing, describing the lasting trauma the shooting has left on their lives.

Blas spoke of the survivor’s guilt he has felt since that night, while Yanez lost his right eye from the shooting and had struggled during his recovery.

“I may not have succumbed to my injuries,” Yanez said at the time, “but being shot in the head four times and in my shoulder once ... I will never be the person that I was.”

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors