Officers John Wrigley, Eric White, Timothy Finley and Nicolas Olsen
White Privilege Pass: On February 21st 2005, Officers Wrigley, White, Finley and Olsen pumped over 28 rounds of live ammunition into retired police detective Howard Morgan as he laid on the ground during a “routine” traffic stop. According to the police, Morgan, who was driving home from work as a railroad patrolman, was going the wrong way up a one way block. After being pulled over, the officers alleged that Morgan sprang from his vehicle, wrestled with them as they attempted to subdue and handcuff him, and pulled a gun from his waistband and licked off 17 shots.
However Morgan’s version of the traffic stop differs in that he alleges that he identified himself as an officer however they didn’t believe him. And as the Grio reports: “Morgan says he was dragged out of his van and forced to the ground as he tried to produce his identification, and that one of the officers noticed his service revolver, a Glock 9mm pistol, and yelled “gun!” After the gun was taken from his waistband by one of the officers, Morgan says the shooting began.”
Morgan would be hit 21 times in the back and 7 times in the front. Three out of the four officers were also hit with gunfire during the incident: a bullet to the upper right arm for Olsen; White in the right calf; and Wrigley in the left arm, but ultimately survived and got to go home with no real suspicions and questions about their conduct that night. They each would also receive awards from the Award of Valor during the department’s Police Recognition Ceremony.
Had They Been Black: They would be Howard Morgan, who miraculously survived being shot at 28 times by the police, was then charged with four counts each of attempted murder and aggravated battery of a police officer as well as two counts of discharging a firearm. The trial would end in mistrial, he would be tried again in 2012. And although the only witness to that night’s event pretty much collaborated his testimony that he was pulled out his vehicle and shot by cops, the jury found Morgan guilty on of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.