(Photo: Cook County Sheriff's Office)
An African-American man shot 28 times by four white Chicago Police officers during a 2005 traffic stop has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for attempted murder.
Judge Clayton J. Crane handed down the nearly-life sentence to Howard Morgan on Thursday.
Morgan, a former Chicago police officer, was shot by the officers after being pulled over for driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. The officers said Morgan, a detective licensed to carry a gun for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad at the time, opened fire when they tried to arrest him. They shot him 28 times.
His family disputes the police officers' account of the altercation.
Morgan was later charged with four counts of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a police officer. In 2007, a jury acquitted Morgan on aggravated battery and discharging a weapon at a police officer. They deadlocked on the attempted murder charges, but in January a second jury found Morgan guilty.
"I am in God's hands," Morgan, 61, said after the sentence was handed down on Thursday.
Morgan’s wife called the verdict “ludicrous” and rife with racism, saying her husband has no prior criminal record and served as a police officer for years.
Morgan’s case has drawn the attention of Rev. Jesse Jackson, who wrote a letter to the court asking them to “temper justice with mercy," Occupy Chicago and a host of other organizations that have offered their assistance.
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