Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford, file)

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On Sunday, Chicago Police Officer Ella French was shot and killed and her partner seriously wounded during a traffic stop. The gun used by the shooter was later traced back to an illegal straw purchase the buyer admitted to making for one of the men in the car.

After being indicted by a federal prosecutor, the buyer, Jamel Danzy of Hammond, Indiana, was released from custody on a $4500 unsecured bond. Chicago Police Superintendant David Brown then issued the following statement . . .

When I heard this afternoon that a federal judge had released the man who illegally purchased and then supplied the gun used to murder Officer Ella French, I could not believe it.

To say that I am extremely disappointed in U.S Magistrate Judge Jeffery Gilbert’s decision to release Jamel Danzy on an unsecured bond today is an understatement. Danzy was released on a $4,500 unsecured bond and court supervision.    

It is an outrage.

This decision sets a dangerous precedent that straw purchasers like Danzy are not a danger to society, despite the fact that his alleged actions directly led to the murder of a Chicago Police Officer and left another in critical condition. 

The outrageous abundance of illegal firearms in our city and our nation is a major factor driving the violence that is continually cutting short the lives of our loved ones and fellow human beings.

The role of the justice system, particularly that of federal prosecutors and judges is more important than ever, and by allowing Mr. Danzy to walk free the court has done a disservice to Officer French’s memory, to the entire Chicago Police Department, and to the thousands of men and women across the country who work around the clock, day in and day out to stem the violence that is plaguing our communities.

— Chicago Police Superintendant David Brown in CPD Supt. Brown slams release of alleged ‘straw purchaser’ of gun used in fatal officer shooting

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