I’m currently mad as hell. I’m furious. Which isn’t good, because it makes my blood pressure go up, and that’s dangerous.
Know what else is dangerous? The police.
Now, I don’t want to bash all police. There are some damn fine men and women out there who do a hell of a job day in and day out. They put their lives on the line for shitty pay and get no thanks whatsoever out of it. I just want to get that out of the way before I start into this story. There are good police out there.
This story isn’t about them.
Dateline: Park Forest, a suburb of Chicago, IL.
John Wrana was nearing his 96th birthday. He had fought in WWII with the U.S. Army Air Corps. His wife, Helen, died in 2005. After that, John lived with his stepdaughter,Sharon Mangerson (now 76 years old herself) until they both realized that their health was failing. John was admitted to and lived at the Victory Centre senior living facility.
Said Sharon of her stepfather, “He was a very vital 95-year-old, let me tell you. He still played cards. He taught the 70-year-olds how to play gin rummy. I used to admire him so much because he was able to keep doing those type of things. As independent as they come, trust me.”
Apparently he was a little too independent.
On July 26th, John Wrana died from internal bleeding.
There are two accounts of what happened that night: the account by the police, and the account by the staff at Victory Centre.
John refused medical attention. The Park Forest ambulance was called. The paramedics arrived, and they brought with them the Park Forest Police Department. Both accounts agree that this is what happened.
This is where the story splits in two.
The police claim that John armed himself with a two-foot long metal shoehorn and a cane.
They do not mention that John was “wobbly on his feet” (also attested to by a family member and in photographs supplied by the family’s lawyer), and used a walker.
The police statement then says, “Attempts were made verbally to have the resident comply with demands to drop the articles, to no avail. The resident then armed himself with a 12-inch butcher type kitchen knife.”
The family’s lawyer and the staff claim that John a) had no knife, and b) had no access to get such a knife.
Police claim that the staff was under threat from John. The staff claims that once police arrived, they were sent out of the room and weren’t anywhere near John. They kept asking the police to let them go in and talk to him so they could calm him down, but police refused.
This when the police used a tazer on 95 year old John Wrana.
But you know what? It didn’t work. He didn’t go down.
So between five and seven police brought in a riot shield and a shotgun that fires beanbag rounds. Have I mentioned that John was sitting in a chair all this time? No? Oh, well, he was.
He was then shot in the stomach with a beanbag round at close range.
A senior police official said, “When I first heard it, I was like, ‘C’mon. Then I thought it through. We don’t know what occurred. We don’t know what information they had at that time. If you don’t have all of the facts, it’s hard to judge someone. … Anyone can be dangerous.”
The Cook County medical examiner concluded that Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally.
This. This is why I’m furious. This isn’t Nazi Germany. This took place a month ago here in the US.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m so disgusted I’m going to go throw up.