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February 2004
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John Hirko – is justice near?

The federal civil lawsuit regarding the death of Drug War Victim John Hirko is wrapping up. Earlier coverage is here.
The Morning Call has been covering the story:

The case is likely to go to the jury for deliberations today after U.S. District Judge James Knoll Gardner finishes explaining the relevant laws to the jury. …

The jury will be asked whether police used excessive force when they shot the suspected drug dealer 11 times, accidentally set fire to his home and forced his fiancee to escape from a second-floor window. Hirko died in April 1997 as the police SWAT team stormed the South Side home to search for drugs

I received this message today:
A picture named hirkojohn.jpg

John Hirko was my friend..my friend for yrs before this all came about. He was a wonderful, intelligent person who didn’t deserve this. Although I do not disagree nor did I approve his involvement with drugs, I know for a fact that he would have never shot at an officer (he didn’t have a criminal background). I believe this was a phase that he would have certainly grew out of. I definitely think a form of punishment other than DEATH would have helped facilitate this. Seven years after his death I still cannot get over how he has been portrayed to justify his homicide. It sickens me.

– Marylou

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