Howard Morgan supporters want ex-cop's conviction overturned in attempted murder involving CPD officers
February 26, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Howard Morgan was shot more than two dozen times by Chicago police and survived. He is behind bars after being convicted of attempted murder in the 2005 shooting. Protestors want his conviction overturned.
Morgan was convicted of attempted murder of the police officers who arrested him after two trials. His supporters say that second trial never should have taken place because of double jeopardy laws.
At the time of the shooting, Morgan was a 52-year-old railroad police officer who had previously worked for the Chicago Police Department.
"I'm not supposed to be here, being shot 25 times throughout my entire body- front, back, every spot except my head," Morgan said in November 2005. "It's only a miracle."
Ten months earlier, Chicago police officers shot him 28 times during a traffic stop on the West Side. Police claimed Morgan struggled, grabbed a gun and fired at officers first.
Almost nine years later, Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager who was killed by a community watch volunteer, is involved in Morgan case.
"Twenty-eight shots couldn't kill him, but it was the 29th shot fired by the criminal justice system -- that left a stinging blow," Crump said.
Crump, Morgan's public defender, and others hope the Illinois Supreme Court will review the case. There's the double jeopardy issue and, they argue, they were unfairly blocked from polling prospective jurors about their feelings on whether some Chicago police officers have a bias against blacks.
"At the end of the day, the Illinois Supreme Court has to look at Harold Morgan and his history versus the Chicago Police Department and its history," Crump said. "Mr. Morgan has always maintained he was stopped for driving while black and 28 bullets later could not kill him. God left him on this earth for a reason."
"I do try to keep his spirits up and let him know the world is listing to this injustice and he will be set free," Rosalind Morgan, wife, said.
Morgan is now in his 60s and serving a 40-year prison sentence downstate. His wife says he is permanently disabled from being shot 28 times.
The Chicago police officers involved in the shooting say Morgan fired 17 shots and injured three of them.
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