Thursday, April 05, 2012
FOP 7 WEBSITE UPDATE - Pres. Mike Shields
Justice Served - 40 years for Howard Morgan
Chicago Police Officers Timothy Finley, Nicholas Olsen, Eric White, and John Wrigley were fortunate to have survived the seventeen rounds that Howard Morgan fired at them on February 21, 2005. Officer John Wrigley was shot in the chest, but was saved by his bullet proof vest.
The Honorable Judge Clayton Crane sentenced Howard Morgan to forty years in prison today in a courtroom that was filled with Chicago Police Officers who showed their support for their brother Officers.
Judge Crane's comment was telling. "I have no idea what possessed your actions that night," he told Morgan just prior to sentencing.
Perhaps the most moving statements were those made by Officer John Wrigley directly to Howard Morgan. "In preparation for today, I carefully thought about what I would say in regards to a man who intentionally almost ended my life. The truth is, it's extremely difficult to put into words, my emotions and my thoughts, of not only that night, but also the effect the last several years have had on me, my family and my friends.
On February 21, 2005, a Chicago Police Officer went to work that night, as a man with 11 years of law enforcement experience. In those 11 years, he served as a Police Officer in multiple jurisdictions, and served communities of people from different races, cultures, religions and backgrounds. He always strived to maintain a good reputation within those communities, including Chicago, because he believed in the trust that should exist between the police and the people they serve. And he always strived to do his job with fairness and compassion. That was one of the police officers you encountered that night, Mr. Morgan. That was me.
The night I crossed your path, I was only doing what I had done a thousand times before. Then you made a choice ... you shot me, Mr. Morgan, and came very close to taking my life. I don't think we will ever know how you came to that choice, but you have shown me what type of person you are in the events following that night.
What is so reprehensible, Mr. Morgan, is you have shown no remorse or accountability in regards to your actions and choices that night. In fact, you have done exactly the opposite. You attempted to lead people to believe and you have allowed people to believe that you did nothing wrong. That somehow, you were the victim in this case. You attempted to hide behind the racial fears of our community and you manipulated organizations into believing that police misconduct and corruption were the cause of me and other Officers being shot that night with your firearm. The very idea goes beyond reason and logic. You preyed upon the emotions and sympathetic intentions of others. In doing so, you allowed these same people and organizations to slander our reputations as Police Officers and as members of this community. Lastly, and more importantly, you allowed further damage to the trust between our community and the police. You orchestrated and allowed all of this to occur, knowing it to be untrue, with the only intention of fulfilling your own self-serving agenda.
But you couldn't hide from the facts and the truth of this case. After all the evidence and testimony was heard, you were rightfully convicted. You are a fraud, Mr. Morgan ... that's also the truth. I will leave here today with my head held high, knowing the truth of this case. Knowing that justice was served fairly upon you, Mr. Morgan. After this day, I will continue to serve with pride and diligence as a Chicago Police officer. But above all else, I will continue and will always serve the people of this community with fairness and compassion."