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Chicago Police Officer William Cozzi gets 40 months

Chicago police officer William Cozzi was caught on video in a local Chicago-area hospital when he handcuffed a knife wound-victim and shackled his legs to a wheelchair, and then proceeded to beat him with a blackjack.

Cozzi was dispatched to the hospital when hospital workers reported that a stab wound victim was being loud and verbally abusive because he was not getting treated fast enough. With the victim completely restrained and unable to pose a threat to anyone, Cozzi repeatedly struck the man in the face and body with his blackjack When he was questioned about the incident, Cozzi insisted the man attacked him and and two hospital workers, and that he was not only defending himself, he was defending the hospital workers as well.

The video, grainy as it is, proved otherwise. Before he learned there was a video, Cozzi filed assault charges against the victim. After the video was viewed the charges were dropped. In his plea agreement in US District Court—three years and two months after the event happened—Cozzi admitted preparing a false arrest report in which he claimed the suspect tried to punch not only him but two hospital security guards.

At the time of the incident in 2005, police convinced the City to not to prosecute. Cozzi was suspended for two years. The victim, still not identified, was paid $125 thousand. The police department tried to fire Cozzi, but the Police Board voted 6 to 2 for suspension. The matter was turned over to the Cook County State's Attorney office by incoming Police Superintendent Jody Weis who called called Cozzi's actions deplorable. Cozzi was charged with felony misconduct, but his lawyer was able to plead it down to a misdemeanor with the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

Cozzi received 18-months probation. Weis, a former FBI agent, referred the matter to the Department of Justice to investigate. Cozzi was charged with civil rights violations. US District Court Judge Blanche Manning, in passing sentence, noted that the sentence was light because Cozzi had a "...good reputation with no prior complaints."

Excuse me? Sorry. I just don't buy that. Cops who handcuff and shackle knife wound victims in wheel chairs and then beat the crap out of them because they were loud and profane in complaining because they couldn't get medical attention don't have good reputations. They're bullies. The fact that there had not been any complaints simply means Cozzi's penchant for brutality either wasn't reported or it was covered up by brother cops. You can't convince me this was the first act of brutality for this guy.



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