March 2, 2012
Howard Morgan urgently needs our expressions of solidarity. He is clearly a victim of the persisting practices of racial profiling by the Chicago Police Department. I urge all who value democracy and human rights to join with me and his Chicago supporters in demanding his freedom.
When Howard Morgan was stopped by the police on February 21, 2005, he had been a full time police officer for the BNSF Railroad for thirteen years, and previously had spent over eight years on the Chicago Police Force. I understand that although he immediately identified himself as a policeman, he was pulled from his mini-van and repeatedly shot until the police thought he was dead. He took 21 shots in his back as he lay supine on the street, but miraculously, he did not die. It is hard to believe that after enduring this attack, he was charged with attempted murder of the police officers who tried to kill him. After his 2007 trial, the jury found him not guilty of firing a weapon and was hung on the remaining charges. However, in apparent violation of the Fifth Amendment prohibition against double jeopardy, he was retried and on Jan. 27 of this year was found guilty on all four counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
Howard Morgan insists on his innocence and an eyewitness confirms his version of the events that led the police to shoot him. His attorneys have filed motions for setting aside the verdict. Meanwhile, he faces 40 years to natural life in prison on each of four counts of attempted murder of a police officer. The most urgent need is for bail pending his appeal. Morgan is 61 years old and in very poor health as a result of the almost fatal attack by Chicago Police. He has never missed a court date and this outrageous and unjust verdict will almost certainly be reversed. His $2 million bail, which was revoked upon his conviction, should be reinstated and he should be released so that his family may care for him.
Please act now
Free Howard Morgan! Release Howard Morgan on bail. Demand that the verdict be set aside. Free Howard Morgan NOW.