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Howard Morgan freed from prison

Ex-Chicago police officer was shot 28 times by white cops and imprisoned
By Joe Iosbaker |
February 17, 2015
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Howard Morgan speaking.
Howard Morgan speaking. (Fight Back! News/Sarah Wild)

Chicago, Il - A Valentine’s Day event was held at the Church of the Living God on Chicago’s South Side to welcome home Howard Morgan. Presided over by his wife, Rosalind and the Howard Morgan Defense Committee, there were over 100 people in attendance. 20 organizations sent messages of solidarity, including the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, the group fighting for reparations for the torture victims of Chicago police officer, Jon Burge.

In 2005, Morgan, an ex-Chicago police officer, working as a railroad cop, was pulled over in a traffic stop, then shot 28 times by four white officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He was then charged with attempted murder. In an initial trial, the prosecution failed to convict Morgan, but the judge ordered him tried again. Morgan was found guilty despite a case featuring destruction of evidence (his vehicle was crushed), and withholding of evidence (only three of the 28 bullets were produced). After three years in prison, outgoing Governor Pat Quinn commuted his sentence to time served.

The defense campaign to Free Howard Morgan was led by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which organized the welcome home event. Frank Chapman, field organizer for the Alliance, was a key speaker at the event. He called for an elected, Civilian Police Accountability Council to stop police crimes. A representative of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam also spoke.

Alliance activists Ted Pearson, Cherese Williams and Larry Redmond had helped to author the language of the petition that gathered 43,000 signatures for the campaign to free Morgan after he was wrongfully imprisoned. Pearson had said of the case, "This case reeks of the kind of white supremacy that shocked the nation 80 years ago when the Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused and sentenced to death in Alabama for the rape of two white girls on the flimsiest of evidence.”

Rosalind Morgan called on supporters to sign a new petition to ask Governor Bruce Rauner to pardon her husband: