Howard Morgan, Former Chicago police officer, who was shot 28 times by white officers while he was off duty in 2005, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in regards to that incident, reports International Business Times.
Morgan was off-duty as a detective for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroadwhen he was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Feb. 21, 2005, as we have previously reported.
While both police and Morgan agree on that much, what happened next is a mystery.
Though identifying himself as a police officer, Howard Morgan was forced from his vehicle and shot 28 times by four white police officers. 21 of those shots were administered to the back of Howard Morgan’s body.
“My husband was shot like an animal. Half of his colon was cut away due to the bullets. They were trying to murder Mr. Morgan. When he lived they concocted a story,” Morgan’s wife Rosalind said through tears.
An independent eye witness testified that Mr. Morgan never fired a weapon. A jury acquitted Mr. Morgan of the charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
According to Chicago Defender, Morgan’s bond was initially set at $2 million, an amount that shocked retired Judge Leo Holt, one of the attorneys representing Morgan.
“The defense asked Judge Crane to reduce bond to $600,000 and he honored the request,” Holt said in 2007.
After the original bond amount was determined, Mrs. Morgan raised the $200,000 needed for her husband to be released. He was released on bond November 2005.
After the second trial earlier this year his bond was revoked and Morgan was taken into custody on January 27.
Though Howard Morgan was originally found not guilty on three counts, including firing his weapon, the jury could not agree on the attempted murder charge. The judge in the case declared a mistrial, and the case went to court again. The jury was not allowed to hear of Morgan’s acquittal.
This time, the jury found Morgan guilty of attempted murder.
FreeHowardMorgan.com informs that the destruction of evidence, withholding of evidence and lack of evidence gathered did not allow Howard Morgan the due process of law afforded him under the U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment, and the State of Illinois Constitution as he was not given a fair trial in 2007 or 2012.
Howard Morgan’s van was crushed and destroyed without notice or cause before any forensic investigation could be done.
The State only produced 3 of the 28 bullets shot into and taken from Howard Morgan’s body, whereby the rest of the 25 bullets could have shown whether or not the police officers who shot Mr. Morgan shot him with his own gun after taking it from him.
Howard Morgan was never tested for gun residue to confirm if he even fired a weapon on the morning in question. Moreover, the State never produced the actual bullet proof vest worn by one of the officers who claimed to have allegedly taken a shot directly into the vest on the morning in question. The State only produced a replica.
“If they can do this and eliminate double jeopardy and your constitutional rights, then my God, I fear for every Afro-American — whether they be male or female — in this corrupt unjust system,” Morgan’s wife told the Chicago Sun Times.
Rosalind Morgan believed the incident was racially motivated.
“Four white officers and one black Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad police man with his weapon on him – around the corner from our home – and he just decided to go crazy? No. That’s ludicrous,” Morgan’s wife said to the Chicago Sun Times.
Thursday shesaid, as reported by NBC Chicago, “My heart is very heavy, but I have to maintain my composure because I don’t want them to think they got the best of us.”
According to The Huffongton Post, Rosalind reiterated Thursday that she believes Chicago police are not telling the truth about her husband.
“He never fired his weapon. There was no gun residue on his hand, and he didn’t fire his weapon,” Rosalind told CBS.
“They shot him 21 times in the back parts of his body and seven times in the front, and left him there in a puddle of blood. He made it then, and God will allow him to make it again.”
Morgan faced a sentence of up to 80 years in prison.