“The linkage between racism and CPD did not just bubble up in the aftermath of the release of the
McDonald video. Racism and maltreatment at the hands of the police have been consistent complaints from communities of color for decades. And there have been many significant flashpoints over the years—the killing of Fred Hampton (1960s), the Metcalfe hearings (1970s), federal court findings of a pattern and practice of discriminatory hiring (1970s), Jon Burge and his midnight crew (1970s to 1990s), widespread disorderly conduct arrests (1980s), the unconstitutional gang loitering ordinance (1990s), widespread use of investigatory stops and frisks (2000s) and other points. False arrests, coerced confessions and wrongful convictions are also a part of this history. Lives lost and countless more damaged. These events and others mark a long, sad history of death, false imprisonment, physical and verbal abuse and general discontent about police actions in neighborhoods of color.”
The above quote is from page 7 of the 22 page Police Accountability Task Force Executive Summary that addresses problems and makes suggestions for the Chicago Police Department. While the Task Force was gathering data and making suggestions, Chicago had the case of Michael Williamson. The Williamson case demonstrates that false arrests, and coerced confessions are not just history, but ongoing in Chicago. Read the rest of this entry
On January 17, 2014, we reported on the case of Howard Morgan.
This is a case where the jury acquitted Morgan on counts of firing a firearm and counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, but deadlocked on charges of attempted murder. At the retrial, the judge denied the jury knowledge of the acquitted charges, and the second jury convicted Morgan of attempted murder. His attorneys have argued double-jeopardy because it was only possible for the jury to convict upon finding that Morgan fired a gun — a charge in which he was acquitted.
Tomorrow, February 26, 2014, a rally recognizing 9 Years of injustice against Officer Howard Morgan is being held in Chicago.
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL
Hosted by: Attorney Benjamin Crump
The Free Howard Morgan Campaign has a website where it also provides a petition.
The case of Howard Morgan
Imagine being put on trial for four counts of attempted murder, four counts of aggravated battery with a firearm against a police officer, and two counts of discharging a firearm.
The jury acquits you of the two counts of firing a firearm and four counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Logically, you would think that a finding of not guilty would also be entered on the charges of attempted murder, but the jury deadlocks on those charges.
According to your defense attorneys, ten jurors considered you not guilty of attempted murder, and two others would not agree. The judge declares a mistrial.
Then imagine being put on trial again and the court orders that the second jury cannot know that the first jury acquitted you on the charges of discharging a firearm and aggravated battery. The second jury enters a conviction for attempted murder, aggravated battery, and discharging a firearm. You are sentenced to 100 years in total, but since one sentence is 40 years, the judge orders that your sentences run concurrent meaning, you will serve 40 years in prison. At the age of 61, does it really make much difference?
Protesters and your family say that the second trial violated double jeopardy.
Okay, that started at what is now the present. Let’s go to the beginning. Read the rest of this entry