Please Sign Petition For Felony Charges In Death Of Police Officer
Furious that Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx is downgrading charges in yet another case in which a police officer was the victim, the FOP and its attorneys are asking members and the public to sign a petition on behalf of the family of Tito “Mannie” Rodriguez Jr.
Tito “Mannie” Rodriguez Jr. was a 28-year-old Chicago Police appointed to the department in 2012. He was a hardworking, dedicated officer whose life was callously and suddenly taken when Dennis Anderson recklessly crossed three lanes of traffic on I-94 and struck Officer Rodriguez, who was driving his motorcycle and about to begin his tour of duty in the 006th District on July 20, 2014.
Anderson was charged with felony reckless homicide. The case has been pending before Judge Walsh in the Cook County Criminal Court House at 26th and California for more than four years.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx has determined that neither jail time nor a felony conviction is appropriate, and she has offered to reduce the case to a misdemeanor reckless driving in exchange for a plea of guilty.
Mannie’s family, friends, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, and fellow officers believe that such a disposition is a gross miscarriage of justice and deprecates the seriousness of Dennis Anderson’s reckless act. If you believe that this injustice should be stopped, please sign this petition in support of opposition to the State’s Attorney’s actions and to ask Judge Walsh not to abide by the prosecutor’s offer.
The decision to allow for a misdemeanor plea in this case comes in the wake of several others in which Foxx has tossed police officers aside in plea deals.
In October, a man arrested last week for making threats on social media to attack police officers and burn the offices of Chicago aldermen may have a history of making such threats, prosecutors still refused felony charges against him.
Matthew Ross made threats that if a former Chicago Police officer was not convicted of murder in a high-profile trial, the wives and kids of the officers in neighborhoods with a large population of police officers would be attacked. He also threatened that “every alderman’s office should be burned to the ground.”
Detectives were contacted about the threats. They arrested Ross and attempted to have felony charges approved, but prosecutors under Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx refused. Ross was charged with two misdemeanors and released on bond.
In another case, an officer was bit in the leg during a downtown demonstration called “Slut Walk” in August. The demonstrator, Lee Dewey, was accused of biting the officer. Dewey was charged with Aggravated Battery of a Police Officer, a felony.
Because of the bite, the officer was out of work for six weeks and ordered by doctors to take a concoction of medicines to prevent the possibility of an AIDS infection. The officer spent his time off simmering in anxiety.
But a plea agreement was apparently worked out between prosecutors and Dewey. His charge was reduced to a municipal code violation: unlawful assembly. The decision was made without the knowledge of the officer. The officer stated he would never have approved of such a reduction in the charge.
But the Rodriquez case involves the actual death of a police officer. How can Foxx plead that down to a misdemeanor?
Enough is enough. Please sign the petition so that we can present it to Judge Walsh for felony charges in this case.
That would be justice.