Chicago Police

Police Pack Courtroom for Hearing of Suspect in CPD Officer Ella French's Killing

Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., who was injured in the Aug. 7 shooting, continues to recover in the hospital, his mother said Monday

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The 21-year-old man charged with fatally shooting Chicago Police Officer Ella French and injuring her partner appeared before a judge Monday, in a courtroom packed with law enforcement and her partner's family.

Emonte Morgan entered a not guilty plea on all 85 counts in connection with the Aug. 7 shooting, including first degree murder, two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and unlawful use of a weapon.

Prior to the shooting, prosecutors allege Emonte's brother, Eric Morgan, was driving a vehicle near the intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in Englewood when the officers pulled them over due to expired plates. Emonte was in the back seat at the time, prosecutors said.

Both brothers were at one point ordered out of the vehicle before Eric Morgan allegedly attempted to flee the scene, according to prosecutors. One of the three officers at the scene chased after him before hearing gunshots and rushing back.

There, prosecutors said Emonte Morgan had shot French in the back of the head and her partner, Carol Yanez Jr., multiple times. The officer then shot Emonte Morgan multiple times, injuring him.

The father of Officer Carlos Yanez, Ella French's partner who was critically wounded during the shooting that killed her and is continuing to recover in the hospital, said he brought with him a T-shirt from his son, who asked that it be given to French because he wanted "a little bit of me to be with her."

Eric Morgan, 19, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon with a prior conviction.

Yanez Jr. continues to recover in the hospital, his mother, Graciela Yanez, said as she gathered with relatives at the courthouse Monday, pleading with the public to pray for her son.

"I’d like to thank all the doctors that was with my son and protected him, and he’s alive today because of them," she stated.

Inside the courtroom, the injured officer's relatives came face-to-face with the man accused of shooting their loved one.

From street corners to the front steps of the church, Chicagoans showed their support for police while paying respects to fallen Officer Ella French in their own way. NBC 5's Chris Hush reports.

"Most of the emotions I went through can’t be said on TV. Every dad would have to ask himself how do I feel? That’s what I felt," said Carlos Yanez Sr., the officer's father, a retired Chicago police officer himself.

While Yanez Jr. is slowly recovering, family and fellow officers say he has a long road ahead.

"Being there for him is what we can do," said his wife, Brenda Yanez. "And hopefully taking it day by day, we can get through this."

At Monday's court hearing, Emonte Morgan was appointed a public defender. His next court hearing is scheduled for December.

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