Brothers charged in killing of Chicago cop were on probation for felonies

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The two tattooed brothers arrested in the fatal shooting of a Chicago cop are both felons — with the 21-year-old alleged shooter on probation for felony robbery and his sibling for theft.

Emonte Morgan was busted on a charge of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Officer Ella French on Saturday night. His 22-year-old brother Eric Morgan was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice.

The alleged shooter also pleaded guilty to robbing a man in the Windy City in August 2019, CWB Chicago reported.

He had arranged to meet the 36-year-old victim to buy his $900 iPhone, but when the two men met, Morgan snatched the phone and fled, according to the report.

The victim chased Morgan down and tackled him in a nearby parking lot, where the robber began punching him, prompting the man to defend himself, the news outlet reported.

Morgan — who was charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor battery — pleaded guilty to one count of robbery on Nov. 25, 2020, in exchange for a sentence of two years of probation, CWB reported, citing court records.

On May 18, prosecutors filed a motion for violation of probation, but the reason for the filing is not included in court records, according to the report.

Morgan was charged Monday with first-degree murder of a peace officer, two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

The charges stem from the shooting death of French, the wounding of her partner and the attempted shooting of another officer over the weekend.

Morgan’s brother, Eric, who was driving the car that was pulled over for expired plates, also was on probation at the time of the shooting after pleading guilty to theft in Wisconsin, the Chicago Tribune reported.

In June 2018, Eric and another man were charged with robbing four people of $180 in Madison. He later pleaded guilty to felony theft, according to court records cited by CWB Chicago.

The two brothers are expected to appear for bond hearings on Tuesday.

The Morgans and a woman were stopped by French and her partner around 9 p.m. Saturday.

Suddenly, gunfire erupted from the vehicle, police said. Officers returned gunfire at the vehicle, injuring one of its occupants.  

French’s partner was taken to the hospital with serious gunshot wounds but is “improving incrementally,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said.

The young woman in the car with the brothers has not been charged, due to lack of evidence, he said.

The gun used “was the product of a straw purchase,” Brown said, and was illegally purchased through an Indiana man, Jamel Danzy, 29.

Danzy purchased the gun legally in Hammond, Indiana, and knowingly provided it to another individual in Chicago who was not permitted to own firearms. 

Danzy was charged by federal authorities on Monday.

French is the first Chicago police officer killed since Lori Lightfoot became mayor in 2019, but the city’s cops have faced a surge of gunfire in the past two years.

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