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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About Tim Hecke 5786 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com