CHICAGO - An Indiana man accused of buying the gun that killed Chicago Police Officer Ella French is out on bond.
Jamel Danzy, of Hammond, is accused of being a straw buyer, meaning he bought the gun for someone else, who was not lawfully allowed to own a gun.
The US Attorney’s Office in Chicago indicted Danzy on Monday.
Prosecutors say Danzy admitted he bought it on behalf of a friend in Chicago who couldn’t buy guns because of a criminal record.
Gun used in shooting of two Chicago police officers.
Danzy bought the gun from a firearms dealer in Hammond and shortly after the purchase, gave the weapon to his friend in Chicago, according to a criminal complaint.
"Straw purchasers and firearm traffickers enable violence with deadly consequences," United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John R. Lausch, Jr. said in a statement. "Fighting violent crime is a top priority in our office, and we are committed to holding accountable those who engage in illicit firearm transactions."
The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Officer Ella French, 29, was shot and killed Saturday evening as she and her Chicago police partner were making a traffic stop in West Englewood.
Her partner, a male officer who we are not identifying, was shot in the head and is fighting for his life.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown released the following statement in regards to Danzy being released:
"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."