“Happy Anniversary. 25 of August, 2014. Seven Years. We did it,” Yanez, seen lying in a medical bed with a head rest and bandages, said in the video obtained by Fox 32 Chicago.
He was transferred to a rehabilitation facility after an over two week stay at the hospital, which Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said Monday marked “a major step in his recovery process.”
Yanez’s voice in the new video released Wednesday seemed notably stronger than the one released last week, as French was laid to rest following a funeral attended or watched by thousands, including a sea of officers gathered in uniform outside St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel.
“Thank you for your support, your donations, your prayers. I love you all,” Yanez said at the time, speaking softly from his hospital bed. “And to my son, CJ, and my wife, Brenda, I do this all for you,” he added, blowing kisses to the camera.
Yanez was critically wounded after a bullet entered through his eye socket and became lodged in his jaw. Another bullet struck Yanez in a shoulder, and a third remains lodged in his brain following the Aug. 7 traffic stop that turned deadly. French was shot once in the head while conducting the stop at 63rd and Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood when suspects allegedly opened fire.
A third officer, Josh Blas, returned fire, striking 21-year-old suspect Monty “Emonte” Morgan as he ran away.
Morgan is charged with first-degree murder of a peace officer, attempted murder of two other officers, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. His brother, 22-year-old Eric Morgan, was also inside the car during the traffic stop and is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice. Both remain held without bond.
Brown previously voiced his “outrage” last week when a federal judge cleared the release of a third suspect, 29-year-old Jamel Danzy, on a $ 4,500 bond. Though the vehicle stopped was registered to Danzy, he was not present at the time of shooting. He is facing federal charges for being the alleged “straw purchaser” who supplied the gun used to murder French and wound Yanez.
Yanez is married and shares a 3-year-old son with his wife, Brenda. His sisters started a GoFundMe page to held raise funds for “home modifications, accommodations and transportation needs to increase accessibility and quality of life” for what’s expected to be Yanez’s “potentially lifelong disability.” The page raised over $ 332,400 by early Thursday.