In light of the Trayvon Martin case, the nation might not be ready to pour its heart into another racially charged but factually ambiguous case. That’s what community leaders such as Jesse Jackson have discovered in their attempt to garner media attention on the the story of Howard Morgan, a black cop who was shot 28 times by white officers while off-duty.
It happened Feb 21 of 2005. Morgan was pulled over for going the wrong way down a one way street in Chicago. He subsequently opened fire on one cop, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, and in the end was himself shot 28 times by the officers, and survived.
But is that how it really went down? As he says it, he explained that he was a cop, only to be shot and nearly killed by four white officers.
To muddy the mix, Morgan’s van was crushed before forensic investigation was done on it, his hand was never tested for gun residue, and the shot cop’s vest was never produced. To make matters worse, supporters of Morgan are claiming that he faced double jeapardy in court. The second time he went to court, Morgan was found guilty of four counts of attempted murder, and on April 5th will be sentenced up to 80 years in prison.
“If they can do this and eliminate double jeopardy and your constitutional rights then my god, I fear for every Afro-American – whether they be male or female – in this corrupt unjust system,” said Morgan’s wife.
And regarding his conviction, she said, “It’s just wrong. They want to sweep this under the carpet and don’t want to take the blame. All the young people who were victims of police shootings are dead. They can’t tell their side of the story. Mr. Morgan was shot 28 times – 21 in the back of his body and seven in the front. The man deserves to be treated fairly.”
Morgan, however, did get to tell his side of this story, and was subsequently found guilty in the court of law. Whether supporters can garner enough attention to make a case that justice has been denied is yet to be seen.