An Indiana man has pleaded guilty to purchasing a gun for an Illinois man who was later accused of fatally shooting Chicago officer Ella French on Aug. 7, 2021.
Jamel Danzy, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal firearms offenses after he conspired to give an individual outside of Indiana a firearm purchased within Indiana in March 2021, despite not being a licensed firearm manufacturer, dealer or collector, according to Illinois court documents.
Two brothers, 22-year-old Eric Morgan and 21-year-old Monty “Emonte” Morgan, are accused of fatally shooting French, who was 29 at the time of her death, while she was conducting a traffic stop in August 2021.
Danzy obtained the firearm, a .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol, from a licensed dealer on March 25. He registered the weapon and gave it to the unnamed individual, or “Individual A,” involved in French’s death in August.
Individual A’s vehicle recovered from the traffic stop shooting was also registered in Danzy’s name at an address in Hammond, Indiana, according to federal court documents.
The day after the shooting, on Aug. 8, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) initiated “an urgent trace” of the pistol used in French’s shooting and determined that Danzy had purchased the weapon.
ATF agents then traveled to Hammond, where they found Danzy working in a restaurant and interviewed him, at which point he admitted to purchasing the firearm for Individual A, whom he knew lived in Illinois at the time.
The 30-year-old Hammond resident also purchased a 9mm. semi-automatic pistol from a licensed dealer on March 17 and gave it to a “known offender” in August.
Danzy faces up to more than a year in prison. A district judge set his sentencing hearing for Oct. 28.
The shooting that left French dead also left her partner, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., critically wounded. A third officer, Joshua Blas, returned fire, striking Monty Morgan as he ran away, police said at the time.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Tuesday introduced the Officer Ella Grace French Task Force Support Act of 2022, which aims to “provide funding to multi-jurisdictional task forces that investigate and disrupt straw purchasing and illegal firearm purchasing.”
Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown tweeted his support for the bill Tuesday.
“Officer Ella French dedicated her life to making our communities safer & died while protecting the people of our city,” he wrote. “The Officer Ella Grace French Task Force Support Act of 2022 that was introduced today is a testament to Ella & her legacy that continues to inspire all of us.”