Woman charged with vandalizing memorial to slain Chicago cop Ella French (and she allegedly posted video of the crime online)

Update February 10: During a bond hearing this morning, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said investigators determined that Anna Kochakian renewed her driver’s license at the Thompson Center before the alleged defacement. In addition to her social media posts, she was identified through CTA surveillance footage that captured images of a distinct tattoo on her arm and through the use of her Ventra card at the L station, he said.

Kochakian’s defense attorney said she has no criminal background and works at Armitage Alehouse. Judge Charles Beach set bail at $15,000. She must post 10% of that amount to get out of jail.

A Chicago woman has been charged with vandalizing a memorial to slain Chicago Police Officer Ella French that was set up in the Thompson Center following the 29-year-old cop’s murder last summer.

The vandal recorded her defacement and posted the video to social media. CWBChicago shared the footage in a report last August:

“I got ‘ma’am’ed once but kept walking without looking back [with] my big headphones on #AbolitionNow,” the woman wrote in a Tweet that accompanied the video on August 19.

Another tweet, accompanied only by a “satisfied” emoji, showed the wrinkled photo of French sitting inside a CTA trash bin.

Anna Kochakian and a screenshot from one of the vandal’s videos that shows a crumpled picture of Officer Ella French lying in a CTA garbage bag. | Twitter; CPD

The vandal shared another video that showed them trying to kick the entire memorial over, but the display only moved a couple of inches. “That didn’t pan out,” they wrote.

Illinois State Police investigators and Chicago police arrested Anna Kochakian, 26, at her home Wednesday to face one felony count of criminal defacement of a police memorial, according to an ISP news release.

“Kochakian was handcuffed by CPD utilizing the handcuffs belonging to Officer French’s partner, Officer Carlos Yanez, who was shot during the same incident where Officer French lost her life,” the release said.

According to ISP, the memorial was defaced around 5:30 p.m. on August 19. Their arrest of Kochakian came “after a complete and thorough investigation,” the agency said.

Anna Kochakian is shown wearing the handcuffs of Officer Ella French’s partner, who was seriously wounded in the shooting. | @ChiefDavidBrown

The videos appeared on a Twitter account that bore the user name “Anna K” and a profile picture that resembled Kochakian. The account changed names several times after the video went viral. It has since been deleted.

Kochakian’s online presence indicates that she is a DePaul University graduate who actively promotes communism in the city. A company she listed as her employer on LinkedIn quickly issued a statement last August to say was actually a former employee.

“We are disgusted by what she has done and want to make clear to everyone that this person’s opinions in no way represent the perspectives or values of Clockedin,” the company said on social media Saturday. “Our sympathies go out to the families affected by this incident.’

Kochakian is scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com