By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
Still standing by her husband’s side, Rosalind Morgan, the wife of retired Chicago policeman Howard Morgan has a new mission—to “end this nightmare” and clear his good name with the help of a one million signature petition drive.
Her husband, who was working as a railroad detective when he was shot 28 times by four white policemen, was later acquitted, retried and found guilty of trying to kill the cops.
Mrs. Morgan is glad her husband is out of prison but her battle to clear her husband’s name is far from over. He served nearly three years in prison before then Governor Pat Quinn commuted his sentence in January of 2015.
Mrs. Morgan said if her husband was acquitted of shooting his weapon how could he have been found guilty of attempted murder?
Referring to Quinn, she said, “He did not pardon my husband. We are now working on a pardon with expungement. He is innocent. I believe him and to defame his character that way is not right. An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”
During her battle to clear her husband’s name, Mrs. Morgan said her life has been threatened. She calls on Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan for protection and that she will not let the threats stop her from clearing her husband’s name. “I thank God for that protection. God has a shield around me and I walk in faith.”
Mrs. Morgan made her comments during the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 45th anniversary. Addressing the Prison Outpost workshop where she was joined by Professor Randolph Stone, director, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic, University of Chicago Law School, Judge Tommy Brewer and Rev. Helen Sinclair, head of the “Jessie Ma” Houston Prison PUSH Outpost. The nightmare began with Morgan 11-years ago.
It was 12:45 a.m., February 21, 2005, when Morgan drove down the wrong way on a one-say street and was stopped by police who ordered him out of his vehicle. When one rookie cop saw Morgan’s holster, he yelled out, “gun.” Four white police who defense attorneys said collectively had 10-years of law enforcement experience, immediately opened fire.
The policemen, John Wrigley, Eric White, Timothy Finley and Nicolas Olsen shot Morgan 28 times. It was later proven that Morgan never fired his gun.
Morgan was arrested, shackled to his hospital bed registered as “John Doe” and charged with four counts of attempted murder, aggravated battery and discharging his gun and given a $2 million bond though he had never been arrested before. He was acquitted in 2007 on all charges except the attempted murder charges. Mrs. Morgan said an anonymous donor bonded him out for $200,000. However, he was later retried for attempted murder and found guilty in January 2012. Judge Clayton Crane sentenced Morgan to 40-years in prison
On his last day in office in January 2015, Governor Quinn commuted Morgan’s sentence, which frees him from prison without pardoning him.
To access Mrs. Morgan’s petition drive, go to this link: www.freehowardmorgan.com.