Police Kill 95-Year-Old WWII Veteran for Refusing to Leave His Care Home
Six Chicago police officers killed a 95-year old veteran of World War II by firing upon him with bean bag rounds after he refused to go to the hospital, according to a lawsuit filed by the stepdaughter of the alleged victim, reports Courthouse News Service.
Sharon Mangerson, stepdaughter of John Wrana Jr. is suing officers Clifford Butz, Michael Baugh, Craig Taylor, Lloyd Elliot, Charlie Hoskins and Mitch Greer, together with the Village of Park Forest over the incident which occurred on July 26th 2013.
According to the suit, on the day in question Wrana refused to leave his room to go to the hospital to receive treatment for what the center’s medical staff believed was a urinary tract infection. Officers were called to Victory Centre of Park Forest Assisted Living Center to help subdue him, and after failing to persuade Wrana to come out of his room, they decided to take him by force.
At this point, none of the officers took a moment to remember that they were dealing with a frightened and confused elderly man, and not an armed drug dealer.
The complaint says of Officer Craig Taylor:
(He fired) “five rounds of bean bag cartridges from a 12 gauge shotgun within a distance of approximately only six to eight feet from Mr. Wrana, far less than the distance allowed for discharging that shotgun, and, consequently, savagely wounding and killing Mr. Wrana.”
The lawsuit continued,
“Mr. Wrana bled to death as a result of the shotgun wounds inflicted upon him by defendants. The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled that Mr. Wrana’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to his abdomen as a result of shots fired from a bean bag shotgun.”
As the complaint explains, bean bag cartridges can travel at approximately 190 miles an hour, and manufacturers warn that “shots to the head, neck thorax, heart or spine can result in fatal injury.”
One might think that after such over reach, and in the face of a mortally wounded old man – the police may have shown some level of humility, compassion or empathy. Instead, the officers handcuffed him, took photos of his injuries, and placed him in a four-point restraint before transporting him to the hospital.
Park Forest police officials claim that Wrana brandished a knife or cane, which necessitated the officers’ response. Stay classy guys.
The lawsuit seeks punitive damages for violation of due process, excessive force, unreasonable seizure, failure to train and supervise, conspiracy, wrongful death, assault and battery, and emotional distress.
The killing brings to mind a similarly inexplicable murder of a veteran, that of 68-year-old former MarineKenneth Chamberlain of White Plains, New York. As Michael Powell wrote for the New York Times:
Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a former Marine who had heart problems and wheezed if he walked more than 40 feet, triggered his medical alert system pendant. The system operator came on the loudspeaker in his one-bedroom apartment, asking: “Mr. Chamberlain, are you O.K.?” All of this is recorded.
Mr. Chamberlain didn’t respond. So the operator signaled for an ambulance. Police patrol cars fell in behind — standard operating procedure in towns across America. Except an hour later, even as Mr. Chamberlain insisted he was in good health, the police had snapped the locks on the apartment door.
They fired electric charges from Tasers, and beanbags from shotguns. Then they said they saw Mr. Chamberlain grab a knife, and an officer fired his handgun.
Chamberlain was shot and killed by the officers, while Westchester County failed to indict any of the officers involved in the slaying of another frightened elderly man killed at the hands of overwhelming physical force by police sent to help him.
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