First Police Killer, Now Child Murder Case
Even most police officers don’t know that the reason convicted cop killer Jackie Wilson may be released from prison is due to a bizarre state agency created almost a decade ago, called the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC).
Once created to investigate claims of torture by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his men, TIRC now gives authority to a collection of unelected officials to overturn any criminal conviction they see fit in Cook County.
It was this commission that arbitrarily ruled that Wilson’s claims that he was abused during his arrest for the murders of Officers William Fahey and Richard O’Brien in February 1982 should merit another hearing.
Only in Chicago.
TIRC is kind of a perfect symbol of how the corrupt becomes legitimate in Chicago, how the once sacred notion of being judged by one’s peers is tossed aside as a mere inconvenience in deference to the whims of the ruling faction.
That TIRC can exist would come as no surprise to seasoned cops, who filled the gallery of the Jackie Wilson hearing on Tuesday—complete with reporters glowing at the prospect of another “wrongful conviction” and attorneys beaming at the possible new revenue stream that Wilson’s liberation might afford.
But just a day after the hearing in which Wilson and his attorneys presented their case in front of Cook County Judge William Hooks, TIRC was at it again, this time debating whether they should reinvestigate claims of police misconduct by Rodrigo Rodriquez, convicted of murdering his five-month-old daughter Angelina.
It was a chilling, despicable, woefully misguided, and misinformed discussion by a group of attorneys that could obviously not negotiate the simplest of crime scenes.
The background of the case from the Sun-Times:
[Rodriguez and his wife, Angela Petrov,] were listening to music and drinking a combination of Hennessy, Sprite and Red Bull in their West Rogers Park home in the 2500 block of West Fitch when Angelina interrupted them with her cries, Assistant State’s Attorney Megan Mulay said.
Petrov initially took her youngest child out of her playpen, but then Rodriguez took Angelina and covered her mouth three times for 30-second intervals as the baby gasped for air.
Petrov told Rodriguez that “something bad was going to happen” and that what he was doing was “dangerous,” according to court testimony. But instead of checking on Angelina after Rodriguez put her “limp” body back into the playpen, the couple had sex and fell asleep, prosecutors said.
That’s right. After they smothered their child, they had sex.
Guess what Rodriquez did a few days earlier.
The Sun-Times again:
Just two days before Rodriguez attacked Angelina, he beat Petrov so badly she suffered broken teeth and lacerations, the defense attorney said. Like most battered women, Petrov often misrepresented the source of her injuries, he explained.
Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 85 years in prison.
So, before Rodriguez murdered his child, he savagely beat his wife.
Other news outlets report that the couple was being investigated by DCFS for abuse of another child.
Initially, TIRC Executive Director Robert Olmstead recommended that the commission should not take up the claims of abuse by Area North detectives against Rodriguez. Rodriguez said he was held more than forty-eight hours, was told by a detective that he should think about committing suicide, and was denied a lawyer.
But then one of the commissioners, Craig Futterman, chimed in. Futterman, a law professor from the University of Chicago, is one of the most vocal police critics in the city. He has signed on to a lawsuit against the city calling for a consent decree for what he and Black Lives Matter members claim is chronic misconduct and racism in the police department.
Black Lives Matter? What next?
Rodriguez’s complaints should generate more investigation, Futterman argued.
Futterman reveals not only his bias, but the power of TIRC to give life to it. With guys like Futterman at TIRC, no conviction, no matter how heinous, no investigation, no matter how routine, is safe. The entire criminal justice system is at risk.