A week after fallen Chicago police Officer Ella French was laid to rest, one of her partners, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, marking a “major step” in his recovery after losing an eye and being rendered partially paralyzed following a shooting during a traffic stop.
“We also have a positive update about Officer Carlos Yanez. He has been transferred to rehab, which is a major step in his recovery process,” Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said at a press conference Monday. “He still has a long road ahead but we are grateful for the progress he is making. Please continue to keep him, his family and the French family in your thoughts and prayers.”
“Also let’s keep Ella and Carlos’ partner and all CPD officers in your prayers as well,” he added.
French was shot once in the head while conducting an Aug. 7 traffic stop at 63rd and Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood when suspects allegedly opened fire. Yanez was critically wounded after a bullet entered through his eye socket and became lodged in his jaw.
Another bullet struck Yanez in a shoulder, and a third remains lodged in his brain so close to a major artery that doctors are hesitant to remove it, Fox 32 Chicago reported. A third officer on scene, Josh Blas, returned fire, striking 21-year-old suspect Monty “Emonte” Morgan as he ran away.
Last week, the wounded officer’s father, Carlos Yanez Sr., who is a retired Chicago police officer, praised Blas for racing to get his son and French medical attention.
“Josh – the third officer – Blas, I believe saved my son in responding the way he did, and got Ella as fast to the hospital, and Junior as fast to the hospital, as he could,” Yanez Sr. said, according to WBBM-TV. “My brothers in blue, and sisters, I thank you. Please be safe. Godspeed.”
Yanez Jr. is married and shares a 3-year-old son with his wife, Brenda. His sisters started a GoFundMe page to held raise funds for “home modifications, accommodations and transportation needs to increase accessibility and quality of life” for what’s expected to be Yanez Jr.’s “potentially lifelong disability.” The page had raised over $313,700 by early Tuesday.
At the press conference Monday, Brown said Chicago police officers have recovered 7,937 guns so far this year – contending that “Every gun recovery is a potential deadly force encounter, as we know in consideration of what happened to us recently in Ella’s death.” The superintendent stressed that French was murdered by felons illegally possessing firearms.
Monty Morgan is charged with first-degree murder of a peace officer, attempted murder of two other officers, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. His brother, 22-year-old Eric Morgan, was also inside the car during the traffic stop and is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice. Both remain held without bond.
Brown previously voiced his “outrage” last week when a federal judge cleared the release of a third suspect, 29-year-old Jamel Danzy, on a $4,500 bond. Though the vehicle stopped was registered to Danzy, he was not present at the time of shooting. He is facing federal charges for being the alleged “straw purchaser” who supplied the gun used to murder French and wound Yanez.
Yanez. Sr. also detailed to Fox 32 how his son was growing frustrated with the criminal justice system.
“He’d come in. ‘How was your day?’ ‘Oh I got a gun. I got this. Guess what dad, I locked up the same guy three times in a week with a gun.’ I’m like ‘you’re kidding!’ ‘No. Same kid.’ He was frustrated. Because they’re doing the job and they’re being criticized they’re not doing the job,” Yanez Sr. said.
On Monday, Brown outlined further crime statistics at the press conference. He said Chicago police officers have made 895 arrests so far this year for carjacking related offenses. Of those, 215 were for vehicular hijacking, marking a 79% increase in the category since the same time last year. Police have made 251 arrests of possession of a stolen vehicle, and 429 arrest for criminal trespassing of a vehicle, Brown said.
Over the weekend, shootings across the city included one that injured a 9-year-old, who came between a suspect and the intended target, who was also shot. No arrests have been made. A mass shooting left six people shot, including one fatally. A second mass shooting left five people shot, one fatally.
There was also a major retail theft that happened at 900 N. Michigan, where suspects made it out of a store with an estimated $43,000 worth of stolen purses, police said. The band of thieves knocked down an elderly security guard, who remains in extremely serious condition with a bleeding brain and skull fracture, before video shows them fleeing in a stolen car.