Nearly every week since Hanna’s killing dozens of people in North Chicago and from surrounding communities have joined Gloria Carr, Hanna’s mother, and Ralph Peterson, Hanna’s cousin, at meetings of the North Chicago City Council to demand prosecution of the six cops involved and to shine a spotlight on other instances of cop brutality in this predominantly Black working-class town in Lake County, about 35 miles north of Chicago.
The call for the demonstration comes in the wake of recent developments that clearly indicate Lake County officials intend to whitewash Hanna’s killing.
On Feb. 22 Muriel Collison and Kevin O’Connor, attorneys for Hanna’s mother and son, who have filed a wrongful death suit in federal court, announced at a downtown Waukegan news conference results of an independent autopsy done on Hanna’s body.
The results showed that Hanna died from “sickle cell crisis” and “multisystem organ failure” brought on by “multiple blunt traumas.” In addition to severe bruises Hanna sustained during the beating, he also suffered hemorrhages of the abdomen, chest and spleen.
“It was a cascade of events but the beating got the ball rolling,” O’Connor told the new conference. “The beating triggered a sickle cell event.” Collison added, “No beating, no death.”
The two attorneys noted the slowness of the Lake County Coroner’s Office in releasing the results of its autopsy. “It took us three weeks, it’s taken them four months,” O’Connor said.
Five days after results of the independent autopsy became public, North Chicago Police Chief Michael Newsome retired. He had been placed on administrative leave since Jan. 3.
As many here had come to expect, the March 8 announcement of the Lake County Coroner’s report shifted the blame for Hanna’s death away from the cops. While withholding details of the report from the public, Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey issued a statement claiming a “combination of complications” caused Hanna’s death, including: “Acute and chronic cocaine abuse, physical trauma and restraint, Taser restraint, poorly controlled hypertension and chronic renal insufficiency.”
“Each of these factors placed Mr. Hanna in sickle cell crisis causing multi-organ failure,” Yancey said.
On March 20 Lake County prosecutors announced they would not charge the cops who beat Hanna.
The April 21 demonstration will assemble at noon at North Chicago High School, 717 17th St., and step off at 12:30 p.m. for a rally at City Hall.
Prosecute vigilante for lynching of Trayvon!
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New Orleans cops to serve time for Katrina slayings
Keep marching, keep pressure on!
NYC police spy unit targets Black, other political groups
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