The ‘Thin Blue Line’ Includes Murder-By-Cop Of 95 Year Old Man

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 2 months ago

Northwest Herald:

A suburban Chicago police officer was acquitted Wednesday of felony reckless conduct for killing a 95-year-old World War II veteran by shooting him with a beanbag gun at close range.

Park Forest Police Officer Craig Taylor was charged after the July 2013 death of John Wrana. In a courtroom packed with officers supporting Taylor, Cook County Judge Luciano Panici said there was nothing criminal about Taylor’s actions and that the officer did “what he was trained to do.”

The basic disagreement in the case was whether Taylor was justified in firing a weapon, at close range, that prosecutors said fires beanbags at 190 mph. Wrana died from internal bleeding caused by the beanbags.

Taylor, 43, was one of several officers dispatched to the facility where Wrana lived after a staff member reported that Wrana had become combative with emergency workers.

After Wrana struck a staffer with his cane, he brandished a 2-foot-long shoehorn at officers, prompting them to briefly leave the room. When the officers returned, one officer was carrying a Taser, another one had a shield, and Taylor was carrying a 12-gauge shotgun that shoots beanbags.

Wrana threatened the officers with a knife, and when he refused to drop it, one officer fired at him with the Taser but missed. Then Wrana moved toward Taylor, and the officer fired his weapon five times.

Prosecutors said Taylor had better and safer options than to fire the beanbags at a confused, knife-wielding elderly man, and that the officers didn’t have to storm Wrana’s room. They said he behaved recklessly when he fired five beanbags at Wrana at a distance of no more than 8 feet away.

But Taylor testified he was following the orders of a superior officer and feared for his life and the lives of his fellow officers when he saw Wrana holding the knife over his head and threatening to kill whoever came into his room. He testified that he felt like he “had to do something to stop him.”

The trial was of intense interest among local law enforcement agencies, and on the first day of trial many officers from Park Forest and other area departments showed up to the courthouse in Markham to show their support for Taylor.

Officers expressed anger that Taylor was even charged with a crime after an incident in which he was following orders and had legitimate fear for his own safety and the safety of his fellow officers.

We will all deal with issues of age.  It will go much like the report.  The elderly will be confused, they may issue threats they don’t even understand, they may not even be able to remember things or process reality reliably if they have dementia.  That’s okay.  They’ve earned that right.  As we are told in Leviticus 19:32, “You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God.”  Or in the KJV, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God.”  Honor towards the creator requires honor for the elderly.

A nation that cannot do this not only won’t live long, it doesn’t deserve to.  It is past its useful life.  This officer was weak, both of body and spirit.  My own son Daniel, who did a combat tour in Fallujah, Iraq, talked to me at length about the shots he had to take and the kills he had to make.  But one of the most interesting of his altercations with other men came when one of his fellow Marines was in danger from an insurgent using a weapon other than a gun.  Others in the area made use of his SAW an unacceptable option (many noncombatants could have been injured), and he used what he called a “football tackle” on the insurgent to stop and disarm him (the context of this specific conversation was the lunacy of women in combat).

That fighter in Iraq wasn’t a 95 year old man who had earned the respect of younger men.  That was an insurgent in Fallujah.  And yet this LEO in Chicago felt it necessary to shoot a potentially lethal weapon at the old man rather than use his brains or brawn to disarm him and defuse the situation.  This is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in LEO-land.

But even worse, note the bolded sections of the article.  “The courtroom was packed with officers supporting Taylor.”  These other officers are saying that it’s okay to shoot at 95 year old men who are confused and frightened.  Nothing is more important than going home safely at the end of their shift.  Cops can’t even use the same rules of engagement / rules for the use of force that Soldiers and Marines used in Iraq, and any hint that they might be held accountable is anathema to the thin blue line.

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  1. On February 5, 2015 at 2:06 am, Larry Sheldon said:

    “Just following orders”

    That’s what the “ethnic cleansers” said at Nuremberg, wasn’t it?

  2. On February 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm, Archer said:

    Not just “following orders”, but doing “what he was trained to do”.

    So if he decides to start throat-punching anyone he sees who isn’t wearing a badge, it’s OK if it’s “what he was trained to do”? Even better if he’s “following orders” – orders no doubt issued by someone who’s also doing “what he was trained to do”, which for the trial meant ordering another officer to fire a potentially-lethal weapon on an elderly man at close range.

    And don’t start me on the “less-lethal” crap; it’s “less-lethal”, not “non-lethal”, and it’s only “less-lethal” when used on a healthy body. I’d bet Wrana, at 95 years old, would not have survived if he’d been hit with the Tazer instead of the beanbags. But even on a healthy body, the beanbags can cause serious bodily harm (or death) when used at ranges less than the design specifies, which IIRC is 10-15 yards. At 8 feet, it cannot reasonably be considered a “less-lethal” option, for any body.

    But then again, nobody outside the PD ever believed these proceedings would be “reasonable”.

  3. On February 6, 2015 at 10:58 am, RegT said:

    Folks, I was a San Diego police officer back in the early ’80s. I guarantee you it was NOT fear that caused Taylor to shoot the old veteran. It was the desire – the NEED, for many cops – to be able to shoot something, anything. Not too long ago, your dog or your cat would suffice if they couldn’t justify shooting you, but now the courts and review boards tell them they can shoot anyone they want and get away with it.

    Back then we called these cops “felony cops”. You couldn’t get them to help take witness statements at a robbery, or lay out flares at a traffic accident, or help a fellow officer in any way. But when dispatch put out a felony call – a call where they just might get to pull their service weapon and shoot someone, they were often the first on the scene, even when it wasn’t on their beat.

    These cops are sociopaths. They are probably secret cowards too – afraid to go up against anyone alone – but their real reason is they want to be able to kill something. Preferably a human being. Especially now, when the courts have shown them they don’t have to settle for your loving family dog anymore. Now they can flash-bang your infant or brutally murder your father/grandfather, a 95 year old veteran, who survived what the Nazi’s (of his time) or Japs threw at him, only to be killed by the Nazi’s (was Taylor’s head shaven like so many now?) of our time.

  4. On February 6, 2015 at 11:58 am, Mutant Swarm said:

    Some departments call cops like that “Tackleberries,” from the “Police Academy” movies.

    Gets their goat every time.

  5. On February 5, 2015 at 9:45 am, Pat Hines said:

    The cop is a coward, various PDs around the country are loaded with cowards.

  6. On February 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm, St. Bernardnot said:

    Exactly what I’ve been saying for years!

  7. On February 5, 2015 at 10:29 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    I’m starting to believe that to be a LEO, the potential LEO must take a test to assure he or she has panophobia – an irrational fear of everything.

  8. On February 5, 2015 at 10:36 am, Duke_Digger said:

    If they had stayed out of the room a bit longer, he would have been napping shortly.
    Wonder what he did to pi$$ off “nurse Rachett”? refuse to eat his oatmeal?

  9. On February 6, 2015 at 9:45 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    Amen, Duke. to wit:

    “Prosecutors said Taylor had better and safer options than to fire the
    beanbags at a confused, knife-wielding elderly man, and that the
    officers didn’t have to storm Wrana’s room. They said he behaved
    recklessly when he fired five beanbags at Wrana at a distance of no more
    than 8 feet away.”

    Ever notice that when someone “barricades” themselves in a house, or just wants to be left alone, SWAT takes them out? They really couldn’t have all left, but one officer, who parked in a chair outside the door, to wait until the guy calmed down, and then had a chat together? Sounds like a “better, safer option” to me.

  10. On February 5, 2015 at 1:01 pm, Roger V. Tranfaglia said:

    SHAME on Taylor……..NOT legal gun owners!

  11. On February 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    Invoking “officer safety” proves Pig Taylor is stupid AND cowardly.

  12. On February 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm, Tal said:

    That cop is a pussy if he’s afraid for his life from a 95 yr old especially if it’s three-to-one odds.

  13. On February 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    …but you repeat yourself.

  14. On February 5, 2015 at 11:36 pm, dan said:

    may the daily thoughts of this ‘killer cop’ be an unending replay of the ‘conquest’ of a 95 year old law abiding citizen….and I pray that only the deceased..’rest in peace’….imho

  15. On February 6, 2015 at 12:34 am, Jack said:

    Multiple cops, a taser, a 12G shotgun, five beanbags for a senior citizen. Yet they can’t (or don’t want to) stop the youth turning Chicago into a war zone. 2015 is showing no signs of slowing down – 157 shootings, 34 homicides.

    If you ever want to know how bad it is to live in a gun-free zone ruled by thugs/Democrats, check out this continually updated website:

  16. On February 6, 2015 at 9:57 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    Great link, Jack!

  17. On February 6, 2015 at 10:19 am, gamegetter II said:

    “Then Wrana moved toward Taylor, and the officer fired his weapon five times.”

    That’s insanity,people hunt dangerous game in Africa and don’t put 5 rounds into a cape Buffalo-and this douchenozzle puts 5 rounds into a 95 year old man?

    The cops who packed the courtroom probably planted goat porn along with some kiddie porn on the judge’s computer to help convince hizzoner of their brother’s innocence -because no sane person could find this cop not guilty.

  18. On February 6, 2015 at 11:46 am, pjb1 said:

    “There is no human situation so miserable that it cannot be made worse by the presence of a policeman.”
    –Brendan Behan

  19. On February 7, 2015 at 4:27 pm, Seerightthere! said:

    There you have it folks. You will from now on have to act first in order to ensure your safety when confronted by Police.

  20. On February 8, 2015 at 12:44 am, Daniel Barger said:

    It would seem this was a “bench trial”….. a trial where no jury was present. NO JUDGE is likely to hold to account the hired thugs that enable his criminality on the bench to be imposed on others. It’s a closed corrupt incestuous system and they ALL look out for each other.

  21. On February 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm, Roland Deshain said:

    Afraid of a 95 year old man? He needs a different profession. What a pansy-ass, wimpy excuse for a law enforcement officer.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published February 5th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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