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Daley didn’t call for justice

On February 10, 2001 then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley stated to a reporter of the Chicago Sun Times, he was hopeful the retrial of Jonathan Tolliver, who was accused of killing rookie-Chicago Police Officer Michael Ceriale, “will end in a guilty verdict, and not a repeat of the hung jury that prompted Judge Dennis Porter to declare a mistrial.” Ceriale was a “model recruit” in the eyes of his peers, and superiors; he was also hailed as a hero by then-mayor Daley. Because he died in the line to duty, while conducting a stakeout at CHA (Chicago Housing Authority) Robert Taylor homes, which was one the most dangerous parts of in the city of Chicago. However, Ceriale along with his partner Joe Ferenzi were conducting a drug surveillance of the Robert Taylor building 4101 S. Federal, on their day off, which raises some questions.

Instead of Daley calling for the conviction of Jonathan Tolliver, especially without having any knowledge of Tolliver’s case; why didn’t Daley insist that justice be carried out the way it should have been? Why didn’t Daley push for the firing of one of the police officers who referred to defense witness Crystal Easley, and other defense witnesses as “jungle bunnies?” Why didn’t Daley also call for the firing of other police officers that kicked in the doors of several residents in the building of 4101 S. Federal, after the shooting of Michael Ceriale? And why Daley didn’t demand the officers who coerced six witnesses into lying to the Grand Jury, falsely implicating Tolliver as the shooter of Officer Ceriale, be fired, and brought up on formal charges? Shouldn’t Daley have used the “moral power” of the Mayor’s office, along with his experience as a prosecutor to make sure “lead-prosecutor” Jim McKay upheld state law during the Tolliver retrial? For example, Illinois state law prohibits a prosecutor from being able to introduce the issues of witness intimidation, unless it can be directly tied to the defendant. McKay was able to sell the issue of “witness intimidation” to the jury, due in part to the fact that Jonathan Tolliver, along with his co-defendants were members of the Gangster Disciples street gang. McKay still failed to prove how Jonathan Tolliver, not the housing complex of Robert Taylor, not the Gangster Disciples, or any of its affiliates, intimidated the same six witness that implicated Tolliver as the killer of Officer Ceriale, into recant ting the statements they made to the Grand Jury.

However, the state got a conviction against Jonathan Tolliver without any physical evidence (inculpatory evidence). But Judge Dennis Porter, along with lead-prosecutor Jim McKay ignored overwhelming exculpatory evidence that would have proved Tolliver’s innocents; because Jim McKay wanted to win, and get a conviction against Tolliver at all cost.

On July 21, 2001 Judge Porter sentenced Jonathan Tolliver to a draconian 60 year prison term, for a crime he did not commit. The gross miscarriage of justice in the Tolliver case was perpetuated by a sitting-Mayor (Richard Daley) so “the Ceriale family could have closure.” On the day Tolliver was given his prison sentence, the Ceriale family said “we still have no closure; bringing Michael back would give us closure.” So Daley not only failed the Ceriale family, but he called for a chain of events that would send an innocent young-black-male to prison. Daley actions in the Tolliver case, along with his lackluster performance as Mayor of Chicago, deserve a failing grade.

BY: Brain Vickers


I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.