Don't Release Cop Killers
It's ridiculous that this even has to be done, but it does, and it's important that it be done:
- As a manhunt continued for the killers of the third Chicago police officer to be gunned down in two months, half a dozen officers gathered Wednesday to make sure another cop slain decades ago wasn't forgotten.
In a sparsely furnished conference room at the Cook County court complex at 26th Street and California Avenue, a video camera silently recorded their anguished stories as they pleaded with the state parole board not to release Charles Connolly, who was convicted of killing Officer Tom Kelly.
- Connolly is serving a sentence of up to 150 years in prison for the murder of Kelly, 26, and the wounding of his partner, Tom Neustrom, 23, during a traffic stop in March 1970. The two were on a break to pick up tuxedos for Kelly's upcoming wedding.
Connolly shot Kelly between the eyes, then shot Neustrom in the chest and back. Connolly walked around the car to finish off Neustrom, but his gun was out of bullets, police said.
Connolly is one of about 10 inmates convicted in Cook County of the murder or attempted murder of police officers who, under outdated sentencing laws, still have a chance at getting out of prison.
In recent years, as these cases get older — and relatives and partners can no longer attend — police are making an effort to ensure the officers are still represented at parole hearings.
If no one shows up, we end up with a situation like we covered last week where the killer of a Northlake Police Officer is set to be released back into society in part because there was no one listed on the victim's side to protest the decision.
Labels: officer down