Woman gets probation for defacing memorial to slain Chicago police officer Ella French

Chicago — The woman who vandalized a memorial to slain Chicago Police Officer Ella French at the Thompson Center has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a reduced charge, according to court records.

Anna Kochakian, 27, initially faced a felony count of criminal damage to a memorial, but on Friday, prosecutors agreed to let her plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal damage in exchange for two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

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

French was shot and killed during a traffic stop on August 7, 2021. Her partner, Carlos Yanez, nearly died and continues to recover.

Less than two weeks after the shooting, on August 19, Kochakia went to the Thompson Center to renew her driver’s license, prosecutors said. Afterward, Kochakian spotted a memorial to French in the building’s atrium.

According to prosecutors, Kochakian approached the memorial, removed a photograph of French, and crumbled it in her hand while recording her actions on video, which she later posted to social media:

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

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

Kochakian was found because of her social media posts and because she used her Ventra card at the L station, officials said. The CTA surveillance footage showed a clear image of a tattoo on her arm.

Chicago used Yanez’s handcuffs when they arrested Kochakian in February 2022, according to an Illinois State Police press release that was issued at the time.

Kochakian’s online presence indicates that she is a DePaul University graduate who actively promoted communism in the city.

Judge Diana Kenworthy ordered Kochakian’s 100 hours of community service to involve animals at the request of French’s family, according to court records.

Emonte Morgan is charged with murdering French and shooting Yanez. His brother, Eric Morgan, who was driving the car that police pulled over, is facing gun and obstruction charges. They are both jailed without bail as they await trial.

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