US officer stands trial in 95-year-old's death

2015-01-13 22:48
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Markham - Opening statements began on Tuesday in the trial of a suburban Chicago police officer accused of acting recklessly by fatally shooting a 95-year-old World War II veteran with a beanbag gun at close range in an effort to subdue him.

Several uniformed officers turned up at a courthouse to show their support for police officer Craig Taylor, who is charged with felony reckless conduct in the 2013 killing of John Wrana.

The case has fuelled debate about police tactics at a time when police departments around the US have come under increased scrutiny over the use of deadly force. Police officials have said Taylor had no choice but to act as he did.

Taylor, 43, was one of several officers who were dispatched to the assisted living facility where Wrana lived on 26 July 2013, after a staff member reported that Wrana had become combative with emergency workers trying to care for him.

According to court documents, when the officers entered his room they saw Wrana holding a long metal object that officers believed was a knife or machete, but was actually a shoe horn. Wrana did pick up a knife and threaten the officers with it, and he refused their orders to drop it.

One of the officers fired a stun gun at Wrana but missed. Then when Wrana, still holding the knife, moved toward him, Taylor fired the beanbag gun at him, then paused before firing four more times, according to prosecutors.

All of the shots were fired from no more than 2.4 metres away, according to prosecutors, who have said the "optimum distance" of 4.5 metres to 18 metres is spelled out in training standards.

Prosecutors said Taylor had other options when he was confronted by an elderly man alone in his room, including leaving and talking to him through the open door. They also said Taylor failed to consider what firing the gun at close range might do to the body of a 95-year old man.

Wrana, who was struck in the abdomen, died from internal bleeding, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, which ruled his death a homicide.

Aside from the criminal case, Wrana's family is suing Taylor, the other officers involved and the village of Park Forest.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.