A hearing was held March 23 at 26th & California Cook County Courthouse concerning the case of Howard Morgan, the retired Chicago cop shot 25 times by Chicago police in February 2005.
Presided by Judge Clayton Crane, Morgan, 55, and his family have secured the services of retired Judge Leo Holt and attorneys Sam Adam Sr. and Sam Adam Jr. to represent them.
Morgan’s attorney’s requested copies of all OPS records of the officers involved in the shooting. Prosecutors, however, told the Judge that the amount of records being requested was too burdensome, and that any requested should be “reasonable and relevant.” The prosecutors questioned many of the requests such as, training records, complaints, shootings, test scores and disciplinary records.
Judge Crane did asked why test scores were requested, however, all other areas he said were appropriate and suggested to both sides that they should try to work out some type of agreement.
He said he would be willing to sit with both sides if needed.
After the hearing, Holt talked briefly with supporters and explained the procedure conducted, adding that the progress will take time before they actually go to trial. The next hearing on the Morgan case is scheduled for April 25, at 26th & California before Judge Crane in Room 201.
Many community activists and organizations, including the Westside Branch of NAACP and United Progress Association were present at last Thursday’s hearing.
Morgan, a Burlington railroad police officer, was shot 25 times by four white Chicago Police Officers from District 10 on Feb. 21, 2005.
Morgan was accused by police of going the wrong way on a one-way street on Chicago’s West Side. Police at the time alleged that Morgan fired at police during the early morning traffic stop.
Morgan was charged with four counts of first-degree attempted murder and three counts of aggravated battery, and slapped with a bail of $2 million by the Cook County State’s Attorney Office.
The office requested that bail be denied for Howard, stating that he was “a danger to anyone” and that the nature of the crime made him a flight risk.
Morgan’s wife Rosalind established a defense fund in her husband’s name, collecting
$12,000. An anonymous donor offered the balance of $188,000, or 10 percent of the bail needed, allowing Morgan to walk out of the Cook County jail on Nov. 22, 2005.
Morgan lay in his bed at Oak Forest County Hospital for week after the shooting. Because of charges pending, Morgan was handcuffed and placed on police guard by the Cook County State’s Attorney.
After six months under guard, Morgan was transferred to the Cook County Department of Corrections Hospital, sleeping on the floor because of overcrowding until a cot was available, according to his wife.
Morgan’s wife Rosalind, along with his father-in-law, sister-in-law Bishop C. Bansa, children and other family members have held rallies and community meetings to shed light on the ongoing case. While her husband recovered, Morgan’s wife joined the rest of the family at community rallies expressing gratitude for supporting her husband’s case.
Those interested in contributing to the Howard Morgan Defense Fund for Justice can send donations to the Pullman Bank, 815 West 63rd. Street, Chicago, IL. 60621. To contact the Morgan Family legal counsel call: Judge Leo Holt, 312/431-3673 and attorneys Sam Adam Sr. and Sam Adam Jr., at 773/752-6950.