Anna Kochakian, a 26-year-old Chicago woman, is in jail on felony charges after police said she threw a piece of paper in a trashcan last summer.
Illinois State Police said in a press release they took Kochakian into custody at her Windy City apartment early Wednesday morning, alleging that the 26-year-old vandalized a memorial to slain Chicago police officer Ella French almost six months ago.
What Happened to Ella French?
According to media reports, French, 29, and her partner Carlos Yanez Jr., 40, were patrolling their beat in Chicago’s West Englewood at around 9 p.m. on Aug. 7, when they pulled over brothers Eric and Monty Morgan during a routine traffic stop.
After a brief verbal confrontation, Chicago police said the officers became involved in a “physical struggle” with Monty, 21.
A short time later, investigators believe Monty opened fire at the authorities from the car’s passenger seat. The officers shot back, and French was fatally wounded in the crossfire. Yanez was struck twice in the head, reports indicate, and is still recovering from injuries that one outlet wrote “may leave him permanently disabled.”
Monty Morgan was charged with first-degree murder of a peace officer, attempted murder of the same, and a handful of firearms offenses. Eric Morgan, 22, was believed to be driving the car during the stop and was booked on one count of obstruction of justice as well a few gun charges.
A third, unnamed passenger was reportedly struck by police gunfire during the shootout and was treated at a nearby hospital for his injuries. Police detained the unknown witness but later released him without filing charges, according to WTTW.
Legal proceedings against the Morgan brothers were still underway as of this week, national media sources reported.
CPD Takes Aim at Anna Kochakian
About two weeks later, on Aug. 20, a Twitter user under the handle “@gardencommunist” posted a video in which the cameraperson appears to try to push over a police display at the Thompson Center in the Chicago Loop.
The display included a black-and-blue wreath on an easel, along with a printed paper card reading “Back The Blue” and Ella French’s official service photograph. No specific mentions of a fallen officer are visible.
In the original clip, the cameraperson is seen trying to topple the display before instead removing the photo and crumpling it up.
The video was soon deleted, but not before other Twitter accounts — some of which appear to be affiliated with the Chicago Police Department — began pulling up the original poster’s personal information while tagging right-wing media personalities and calling on their followers to make her “go viral.”
After publishing Kochakian’s LinkedIn profile, some police supporters began reaching out to her listed employer in an effort to get her fired. (While the company called the video “appalling,”a spokesperson said that Kochakian hadn’t worked there in months.)
Just a day after the video went viral, authorities announced they were investigating the matter as a crime.
On Wednesday, a warrant for Kochakian’s arrest was issued to Illinois State Police, who had jurisdiction as the Thompson Center is state property.
The 26-year-old is charged with defacing a police memorial, a class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison. She was due before a judge Thursday to answer the charges, reports added.