Chicago Defendant Gets 7 Years in Officer's Death

Ella French, 29, was killed during a traffic stop
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2021 2:23 AM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2023 4:25 PM CDT
29-Year-Old Chicago Officer Killed, 2nd Cop Fighting for Life
Chicago police officers salute as the ambulance carrying the body of a fellow officer arrives at the Cook County Medical Examiner in the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021 in Chicago.   (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP)
UPDATE Oct 12, 2023 4:25 PM CDT

A 25-year-old man pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday in the fatal 2021 shooting of Chicago police officer Ella French. Eric Morgan received a term of seven years in prison after entering the plea to charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, battery, and obstruction of justice, the AP reports. Morgan's brother Emonte, who prosecutors say pulled the trigger, faces a first-degree murder trial scheduled for early in 2024. The officer's mother told the court that seven years was insufficient, per CBS News. Had he not accepted a plea deal, Eric Morgan could have been sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Aug 9, 2021 2:23 AM CDT

Two Chicago Police Department officers were shot as they conducted a traffic stop Saturday night, one fatally. Ella French, 29, had been with the department since 2018, the Chicago Tribune reports. "She was the epitome of a good Samaritan," says her brother. "She was a humanitarian. She believed in human rights. She was one of the officers on the force that thought they needed reform." The officers were shot at during the traffic stop and at least one returned fire; the other officer was also shot and is in critical condition, and one of the three suspects in the car was wounded. All three are in custody. Police say none of them have an extensive criminal history, but the alleged shooter does have a robbery record. It's not clear why the car was stopped, but police say bodycam footage will be analyzed.

Sources tell CBS Chicago one officer was near the driver's side door and one was near the passenger door when a male suspect shot both of them from the backseat of the car. Thirty-eight CPD officers have been shot or shot at so far this year, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement following French's death that the strife between those in the city who say police are not being allowed to do their jobs and those in the city who say police are not held accountable needs to "stop. Just stop." She said that conflict is not what is needed right now: "The police are not our enemies. They are human, just as we are. Flawed, just as we are, but also risking their lives every day for our safety and security. That reality became very real last night, in an emergency room, amongst tears and fears from the finest and the most courageous people I know." (More Chicago stories.)

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