Category Archives: John Wrana
Although this blog was launched in August 2012, it was not until 2014 when I first blogged about a case involving an unarmed person killed by police. It was Jonathan Ferrell. Previously, I blogged about unarmed people killed by private citizens. Trayvon Martin was the first followed by Jordan Davis.
As I understand it, if you access this blog via cellphone, you have to click another button to see the top menu. The top menu includes “Cases/Victims”. A pull-down menu appears when hovering over it. Recently as I started to include three other names on that menu, I was struck with sadness. There are already 127 names.
Most were killed by members of law enforcement. At least one was a member of law enforcement. Some survived the beating or shooting. Most are Black, who are disproportionately killed by law enforcement. Believing in equality and justice for all, the list on the pull-down menu includes Whites, Latinx, Asians, men and women. The cases involve Black and White officers. What is interesting in documenting cases involving Black officers is the number of times they are charged and found guilty, compared to their White counterparts.
Offhand, I only remember one case where a Black officer was acquitted. The victim in that case was 95-year old John Wrana, a WWII veteran. Park Forest, IL officer Craig Taylor shot John in the abdomen with 5 beanbags in rapid succession. John Wrana was in his room in a retirement home when he was killed. He died from internal bleeding. Officer Taylor had a bench trial and was found not guilty.
In September 2018, after I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I lacked the energy and time to write blog posts that required research. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t victims, or trials, or recent news about investigations. Then 2019 arrived and I heard about Javier Ambler II in Texas. I thought that I felt complacent, thinking, “nothing will be done.” It’s now been 15 months and the investigation is still opened. The two deputies involved in Ambler’s death have not provided written statements. LivePD that filmed the incident destroyed the video tape.
After seeing the video of the killing of George Floyd, I was reminded of Javier Ambler II. An officer placed his knee on Ambler who said several times that he could not breathe.
Ethan Saylor also came to mind. Like Floyd, Saylor was not killed by gunshot, but by chocking. His esophagus was broken. Also like George Floyd, Ethan called out for his mother. Ethan Saylor was not Black, but he was different. Ethan was Down Syndrome. None of the 3 deputy sheriffs involved in killing Ethan were charged.
Originally when I began writing this post, my intention was to name the cases where the officers involved were not charged. They are names that others may have forgotten or not known about. Along with Ethan Saylor is Darrien Hunt; Saif Nasser Mubarak Alameri; John Crawford III; Mark Anthony Barmore. I wanted to not only inform, but to also honor the victims; to let their families know they are not forgotten. But, that all changed because there — are — just — too — many. (sigh)
Just some thoughts on this dreary, cold day.
It is hard when loved ones die from disease or old age. It is horrible when loved ones die from an accident. It is devastating when loved ones are killed by others. Those left behind always seem to have a feeling of guilt, but that’s mainly from being helpless. I’ve said on this blog many times that death does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about age, gender, or the color of skin. Money might buy medical care to extend life, but it cannot bribe death when the time comes. That sense of helplessness runs deep.
When loved ones are killed, people look to the justice system. The only comfort that comes from that is the sense of juries and judges acknowledging right from wrong. However, what juries hear and see is painted by their own hearts and minds. People are not computers programmed to process data without bias.
There are times when there are no words sufficient in bringing comfort to the hurting, to those who have lost loved ones, the ill, the tired. There are times when I feel that there must be more – something I can do, and not merely say. If I had the power of resurrection, I would walk through the hospitals, the morgue, the graveyards, calling out names and saying, “Come forth.”
Today, because I feel that there are no words sufficient to directly comfort the living, I will address their loved ones who have gone on. Read the rest of this entry
Park Forest, Illinois Officer Craig Taylor is charged with felony reckless conduct for the July 2013 death of 95- year old, World War II veteran John Wrana. John was a resident of the Victory Centre senior assisted living facility.
44-year old Craig Taylor is an 11-year veteran patrol officer. On July 26, 2013, a staff member reported that John was combative with emergency workers trying to care for him. Taylor was one of five officers dispatched. Mercury News reports;
“According to court documents, when the officers entered his room they saw Wrana holding a long metal object that officers believed was a knife or machete, but was actually a shoe horn. Wrana did pick up a knife and threaten the officers with it, and he refused their orders to drop it.”
Prosecutors say that Taylor fired bean bags at John 5 times, hitting him in the abdomen and the hand in which John was holding the knife.
Training standards state that bean bag shoots have an optimum distance of 15 to 60 feet. All of the shots fired by Taylor were no more than 8 feet away. Prosecutors say that Taylor fired 5 beanbags in rapid succession into John’s abdomen from 6 to 8 feet away. John died from internal bleeding.