The murder of a police officer is an assault on the entire community. When those who sacrifice their own safety in service to others are gunned down by criminals, it’s incumbent on everyone to ensure that those offenders are held fully accountable. Unfortunately, that did not happen yesterday.

Yesterday, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board set a convicted cop killer free. By a vote of 8-6, the Board granted freedom to Joseph Bigsby, who, in 1973, murdered Chicago police officer Edward Barron after officers responded to an armed robbery call.

Joseph Bigsby, who was also convicted for the attempted murder of three other Chicago police officers who were working alongside Officer Barron that night, served less than half his sentence.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is extremely disappointed and frustrated with a decision that grants freedom to a man who stole the life of a Chicago police officer.

Clearly, the members of the Prisoner Review Board who voted for Joseph Bigsby’s freedom did so without regard for Officer Barron’s memory, his surviving family members, his fellow colleagues or the community he served.

They voted to grant freedom to a convicted murderer despite the strong opposition from the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the Chicago Police Department, dozens of individual Chicago police officers including Officer Barron’s partner, and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, all of whom were present at yesterdays hearing.

Despite yesterday’s very disappointing decision, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation will continue to serve as a voice for the families of fallen Chicago police officers. We will continue to appear before the Prisoner Review Board to ensure that cop killers can never again taste the very freedom that they stole from police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of others.

Please consider expressing your opinion by writing or calling Governor Rauner’s office. The Governor is responsible for appointing members to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board:

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
Voice an opinion electronically here

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We Will Never Forget