CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of Chicago police officers and retirees were on-hand Tuesday at the Criminal Courts Building where convicted cop killer Jackie Wilson had a hearing to determine whether he’ll get a new trial.
Jackie Wilson wants a new trial after spending the past 36 years in prison, but Chicago Police showed up in force to try to keep him behind bars. The Fraternal Order of Police encouraged officers to show up for Tuesday’s hearing.
Police officers filed into the courthouse at 26th and California, headed to courtroom 301, where Jackie Wilson, who was convicted, along with his brother Andrew, of the 1982 murders of officers Richard O’Brien and William Fahey is seeking a new trial.
Before the hearing began, Judge William Hooks read an order threatening contempt of court to any Chicago police officers who had not checked his or her weapon before entering court.
Jackie Wilson, 57, sat in court with his attorney wearing black and off-white striped prison clothing with the letters DOC, which stands for Department of Corrections, on the back.
Attorneys for Wilson argue he was beaten into confession, like his brother Andrew, by the former commander John Burge and his Area Two detectives, long accused of overseeing the torture of black suspects for decades. An angry Wilson described the night he was arrested.
“They beat me over the head with a dictionary, stuck a gun in my mouth. Then they did the electric shock,” Wilson said. “That came after this guy played Russian roulette with a gun in my mouth.”
“They killed two police officers and Jackie Wilson needs to stay in jail,” said Officer Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “This is a message that the FOP does not forget it members, even if it’s 30 years ago, nd beyond that, we want to make sure Jackie Wilson stays in jail.”
Mike Voight was among those in the courtroom. He attended the cops’ funerals and remembers his best friend, William Fahey.
“We hunted together. We ran around. He was a family man and I can’t say enough about him and his family. And to have to sit through this again is terrible,” Voight said.
Attorney Sammy Lacey, a black, former Area Two detective testified on Tuesday. He was assigned to Area Two 36 years ago when Officers Richard O’Brien and William Fahey were shot to death.
Lacey testified black detectives were not allowed on, what was referred to as Jon Burge’s “A-Team,” which Lacey said stood for “A-kicking Team.” He said the A-Team was the only unit assigned murder cases.
Lacey indicated he and a couple of other black detectives had complained to a higher-up that blacks were excluded from investigating murders. He said that, when Lt. Burge found out, he “jumped on us” and said they’d gone “outside the chain of command.”
He testified that, at a colleague’s retirement party, Burge called Lacey “a racist.” Lacey said that, a higher ranked police official then looked over at Lacey and, referring to Jon Burge, said “We know who’s the racist.”