Chicago officers can wear uniforms to suspected cop killer’s trial, judge decides
Defense attorneys had asked that officers who attend the trial of Officer Ella French’s suspected killer not wear their uniforms, citing concerns that a “sea of blue” might intimidate the jury
By Joanna Putman
CHICAGO — Police officers who wish to attend the trial of a murder suspect in the case of Officer Ella French are allowed to come to court in uniform, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Defense attorneys had asked that officers who attend the trial of Emonte Morgan, 23, not wear their uniforms, citing concerns that a “sea of blue” might intimidate the jury, according to the report.
The incident occurred on Aug. 7, 2021, when Officer Ella French and her partners pulled over Eric Morgan, 25. Emonte was in the backseat, according to the report.
After Eric refused to put down a drink and a cell phone he was holding, a struggle with officers ensued. During the struggle, Emonte produced a handgun from his waistband and shot French and her partner, Officer Carlos Yanez. The suspects were taken into custody after trying to flee, according to the report. French did not survive.
Officers did wear uniforms in the October trial of Morgan’s brother, Eric Morgan, 25, who pleaded guilty to battery with a deadly weapon and obstruction of justice in the incident. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, the maximum allowed for the charges, according to the report.
Defense attorneys filed several motions to keep the shows of support for French at bay during Emonte’s trial, claiming they wanted to prevent it from “becoming a circus,” according to the report.
Judge Ursula Walowski, who also presided over Eric’s trial, stated she would not let that happen, according to the report. She also denied a motion to prohibit trial attendees from wearing T-shirts in support of French.
“I’m not going to tell people what they can or can’t wear in the courtroom,” Walowski said.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for Feb. 27.