Marcus Floyd and Officer Thomas Wortham IV
A Cook County judge on Tuesday sentenced the third and final man convicted in the 2010 murder of a beloved off-duty Chicago police officer to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Marcus Floyd, 24, stood motionless as the sentence was announced by Judge Timothy Joyce. He and several other men were attempting to rob Officer Thomas Wortham IV of a brand new motorcycle he had just bought outside of his parent’s home in West Chatham. Wortham announced his office and an altercation began in which shots were exchanged between the suspect and Officer Wortham along with his father, retired Chicago Police Sgt. Thomas Wortham III.
Wortham’s murder was the latest in a string of high-profile violent crimes taking place in the upper-middle class Black community at the time and spawned several changes to take the community back. Just weeks before his death, Wortham spoke about getting the community more involved at Cole Park, which is across the street from his parent’s home, after there had been several shootings and fights related to the basketball court. Wortham was seen in the community as a friend and good guy, despite the community’s strained relationship with police.
“The senseless loss of this young, hardworking officer can never be fully measured and it is a tragedy for all of the citizens of Chicago,” read a statement from prosecutors in the case.
Throughout all of the trials, the Wortham family has remained consistent about their message and has been able to keep their emotions under control. But when Floyd addressed them in court and attempted to paint himself as a victim, Wortham’s sister and mother let him have it.
“People like Marcus Floyd will not be saved by blind, naive compassion,” said sister Sandra Wortham in her victim impact statement. “They are evil and cowardly, and they should be dealt with accordingly.”
Floyd said he lost a family member too in the incident. His cousin Brian Floyd was shot and killed by the elder Wortham as he attempted to come to his son’s aid. Marcus Floyd was also shot several times and went into cardiac arrest twice and was in a coma for a period of time. Because he was in the act of committing a felony, Floyd was also charged and convicted with the murder of his own cousin.
“While I’m trying not to be judgmental, my experience has taught me that some bad people will not change, they will just keep trying to make you think they have, and those people should not walk among us,” said mother Carolyn Wortham. “Some people are just monsters.”
Since his son’s murder, the elder Wortham has been taking a more active public role in trying to mentor and help other young people. He said the violence that has been gripping Black communities in Chicago is “senseless” and that more young men need to be taught responsibility. As Floyd told the court his sentence would mean that his child would grow up without a father, the elder Wortham could relate, but said Floyd had to accept responsibility for his actions.
“Tommy was not just my son,” Wortham III said. “He was my fishing and golf partner and my friend in life. I miss him every single day.”