Man gets half max sentence for providing gun used to kill Chicago Police Officer Ella French

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Thursday, December 15, 2022
Man gets half max sentence for providing gun used to kill Ofc. French
Jamel Danzy was sentenced Wednesday for providing the gun used in the shooting that killed Chicago Police Officer Ella French.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The man convicted of buying the gun that killed Chicago Police Officer Ella French was sentenced in federal court Wednesday.

Prosecutors had asked the court to hand down the maximum sentence of five years for Jamel Danzy. Instead, he received half that.

There was only disappointment and anger after a federal judge gave a two-and-a-half year sentence to the Indiana man who admitted to straw purchasing the gun used to kill Officer French and critically wound her partner, Officer Carlos Yanez, during a traffic stop last year.

"It so sickens me that the sentence was only 30 months," Yanez said.

RELATED: Surveillance video shows traffic stop before fatal shooting of CPD Officer Ella French

In court, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman said the sentence had to be just, adding he had no evidence Danzy knew where the weapon was headed.

"The sentence was wrong," said Carlos Yanez Sr., the former officer's father. "What does it take to get a maximum sentence of five years for selling a weapon to a convicted felon that murdered a police officer and permanently disabled another officer?"

The courtroom was packed with Chicago police officers for the hours-long sentencing hearing, during which several shared victim impact statements, including French's mother.

A tearful and emotional Elizabeth French recounted the night her daughter was killed, before turning from the podium to face Danzy, saying: "What did you think that weapon was for? Some day you will walk out of prison and return to your life, but your choices took my daughter from me forever."

The still grieving mother then turned back to the judge to ask for a maximum sentence.

"We've had countless officers shot or shot at in the last three years," CPD Chief Brian McDermott said. "We believe the max sentence in this case was appropriate and I believe we missed an opportunity to send a strong message."

RELATED: Renewed calls for change as man accused of killing Ella French, injuring partner, pleads not guilty

Danzy quietly left the courthouse after the sentencing, but read a statement in court. In it he expressed condolences to the families of the victims, saying: "I take full responsibility for what I have done. This should have never happened."

Danzy, who has no prior criminal record, has a master's degree and most recently worked as a teaching assistant.

Investigators said he bought a .22-caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol in March 2021 for convicted felon Eric Morgan, who he was in a relationship with.

Morgan, along with his brother Emonte, have been charged with first degree murder and other offenses for the August 2021 shooting of the officers during a traffic stop.

"It's disgusting. It's wrong and shame on the judge," said John Catanzara Jr., president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7.

Danzy also admitted to straw purchasing a second gun a week earlier for his cousin, who is also a convicted felon and can't legally have a gun.

Danzy is expected to report to prison on February 7.