Park Forest Cop Acquitted in Fatal Beanbag Shooting of WWII Vet

Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, February 4, 2015

Park Forest police Officer Craig Taylor was acquitted Wednesday of reckless conduct for firing five beanbag rounds in rapid succession at a knife-wielding World War II veteran who died hours later.

Reading his lengthy written ruling aloud in court, Cook County Associate Judge Luciano Panici said the force used on John Wrana Jr., 95, “was not excessive.”


After the court hearing, Taylor smiled, stood and embraced his wife. He had faced anywhere from probation up to three years in prison if convicted.

Craig Taylor

Craig Taylor

Relatives of Wrana’s family sobbed in the front row of the courtroom gallery and were escorted out the back of the courtroom. They left the courthouse without comment.


Taylor, who has been on desk duty since being charged last April, hopes to return to active duty, but he still faces a multimillion-dollar wrongful-death lawsuit by Wrana’s family. {snip}


Taylor, 44, fired the beanbag rounds after Wrana struck a paramedic with a cane and refused police orders to drop a filleting knife in July 2013 at the Victory Centre complex. Wrana died at a hospital hours later of internal bleeding.

John Wrana

John Wrana

Prosecutors argued at trial that Taylor–a 10-year veteran of the force–and four other officers had rushed to judgment the night they were called to Wrana’s room, deciding within minutes to employ a “violent extrication” that led to Wrana’s death.

Taylor fired beanbag rounds from a shotgun from a much closer range than called for during training, prosecutors said.

But in the trial’s emotional highlight, Taylor testified that he feared for his life and those of his fellow officers when Wrana took a shuffling step forward with the knife raised. Taylor said that after the first shot or two failed to stop Wrana, he thought he had the authority to use lethal force–opening fire with his handgun–but chose not to, in part because of Wrana’s advanced age.


According to trial testimony, officers had twice gone into Wrana’s room, only to retreat after he threatened them first with a long, red-handled shoehorn and his black metal cane, later with a filleting knife with a 7-inch blade.

Cmdr. Michael Baugh conferred outside Wrana’s apartment with Cpl. Lloyd Elliot, then instructed the group to form a “stack”–a staggered, single-file line–to enter Wrana’s home, with Baugh in the lead carrying a shield and Taser, according to testimony.

Baugh ordered Wrana to drop the knife. When he didn’t, the commander fired the Taser, but its prongs missed.

Taylor, who was second in the line, twice ordered Wrana to drop the knife and then fired five beanbag rounds. Four rounds struck Wrana, who dropped the knife into a small plastic garbage can after being struck in the hand by the final round.

Wrana died five hours later after refusing surgery to repair an intestine that was torn and other injuries that caused massive internal bleeding.



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  • If only I had no conscience, no real responsibilities, no inhibitions, no intelligence and no sense of future time orientation, I’d be like GENTILIVUS GIANTIVUS’s pseudo-stepfather, Louis Head, and be out there “burning that b***h down.”

  • Luca

    Anyone familiar with 95-year old’s, know that they are weak, angry, don’t give a hoot about anything and tire quickly. I probably could have kept this guy at bay with a broomstick for 3 minutes, then knocked him on his butt a minute later.

    I don’t care about the color of the cop, but I am more concerned about the content of his character and his conduct.

    I wonder if the victim was in a wheel chair or needed a walker (aside from his cane)?

    And this big buck feared for his life?

    Does anyone else see a racial revenge streak that may have surfaced?

    • phorning

      I agree it is unlikely he could have successfully stabbed one of the officers or endangered their lives. Two officers should have been able to disarm him with their bare hands. In three different articles, I can’t find an explanation as to why the assisted living facility called the police to begin with. It still sounds like the family has a tough case even in the wrongful death suit. The article says Wrana refused surgery, makes it sound like he was ready to die.

    • archer

      chances are at his age he was half deaf and didn’t hear any orders about dropping the knife, could have had Alzheimer’s disease which left him confused. If a paraplegic had a knife would he still be in fear of his life?

  • MekongDelta69

    Yeah, b/c a cranky, old 95 y/o Vet is a major threat to life and limb.

    Give me a break…

  • Chip Carver

    ONLY a non-white would get away with this in the US. A white cop would never get away with shooting a 95 year old man of any race, whether he did it with bullets, beanbags or spitballs.

    • DiversityIsDeath

      Yes, well if a white cop killed a 95 year old negro (or other non-white), herds of them would be out in force “demanding justice” (with plenty of media coverage). Where is the organized White outrage? Bleh, nothing.

      • Bartek

        The vast majority of White people lack any sense of racial cohesiveness or racial loyalty.
        If they possessed those high value survival traits all our former homelands and White Nations would still be White and we wouldn’t have Blacks running around with weapons calling themselves police and murdering old White men acting under the authority of the law.

        • OhWow

          Nailed it. Asians are encouraged to stick together and celebrate their culture. Hispanics are encouraged to stick together and celebrate their culture. Blacks are encouraged to stick together and celebrate their culture. Whites are encouraged to…WAIT THAT’S RACIST! KKK! OMG! NAZIS!

          You are not allowed to be proud to be white. You are not even allowed to ASK whether whites have a unique culture. Any time any cohesion or unity is trending up for whites, the radical left stomps it out so it can’t grow any further. There is no such thing as whiteness! It’s a social construct! Whites are evil! Look what happened 400 years ago! All white people are guilty!

          No white student unions, no white pride celebrations, no white culture, no whiteness (apparently it doesn’t even exist to the left), etc. What do you think decades and decades of this does to whites? It forces us to think independently and steer clear from identifying with our race. We have been conditioned…if you identify with being white and seem proud about it, you can lose your job, end up in the news, receive death threats, and be called a nazi. Whites have been brow beaten into submission. What a far cry from the Roman and Greek empires. Can you imagine the left trying to brow beat those warriors? Back when white men were actually men and not skinny, androgynous hipsters?

          • wildfirexx

            So true…and the kids today are all born into this twisted world with white guilt sin stamped on their forheads. Before they are even able to independently think, they are indoctrinated into the belief that the white men was a curse on this planet through their evil deeds of black slavery, and the Jewish holocaust, etc., even though none of us living today are gulity of the past.
            This appears to create a subconcious feeling of white privilege, as if for some reason we are expected to give up our identity as a distinct race or people, and embrace diversity to become one, while all other racial and ethnic cultures are encouraged to celebrate their differences.
            Without intervention, and like the Neanderthals before us, it appears we are destined to become extinct through depopulation and massive interbredding!

      • Lygeia

        We have jobs that we have to go to during the day. All these blacks that protest have all the time in the world to protest, nonstop. If you notice, the protests die down the day the welfare check arrives and then start right back up a day or two later.

    • Who Me?

      A WHITE cop wouldn’t shoot a 95 year old man (with anything) under those circumstances. Maybe in some cases, but not because Gramps waved a shoehorn, a cane and a steak knife at them. Just shut the door, secure the window (from outside) and wait for the old man to take a nap. I can understand a lot of things, but not when 5 big, burly, black cops “fear for their lives” faced with a frail 95 year old veteran.
      Oh, and by the way, has anybody asked what set the old coot off? A lot of those nursing homes have non-white aids and CNA’s that treat the elderly whites like dung.

      • Luca

        Chances are the old man couldn’t get his meals, pain meds, or needed to go to the bathroom and “The Help” was busy playing dominoes, polishing their nails or gossiping on the phone.

  • Tarczan

    I hope I can swing a cane when I’m 95.

    • Bartek

      Looking at the dismal demographic situation I hope I don’t live that long.

  • dd121

    Will Obama appear on TV later tonight denouncing this act to emphasize that white lives DO matter. I think not.

  • FloridaGal2005

    What are they hiring at police departments these days, chickens? These pathetic excuses for men fear for their lives at the first sign of confrontation. If this keeps happening it will only be a matter of time before ordinary citizenry starts fearing for their lives the moment a cop appears on the scene.

  • Lygeia

    I only have one question: Would this black police officer have done the same thing to a 95-year old black man?

    • LHathaway

      There you have it. Morality in the modern age.

  • Viking_61

    We can only hope this Negro disgrace falls ill to a bad case of sickle cell disease.

    • Who Me?

      I know what you mean, but sickle cell anemia manifests at or shortly after birth.

  • Albert

    If i were a dysfunctional retard, i suppose i’d feel like burning and looting in protest of this.

  • LHathaway

    “Wrana died five hours later after refusing surgery to repair an intestine that was torn”

    Sure he did . . .

  • HE2

    You might be surprised what a demented elder can do.
    During the team’s attempt to subdue him, an 85 year old thin as a reed demented black man
    head-butted one of my colleagues, rendering my friend unconscious and brain damaged for life.
    As a result of diminished intellectual ability, he was forced to retire at 40 years of age.
    The black man was not so much as bruised, while our team mate was taken to a treatment bay with a serious head injury.

  • Mark Caplan

    I hope the cops euthanize me if I ever get that demented. It sounds like the WW II vet had checked out mentally long before the fatal bean bagging. My 90-year-old WW II vet dad feels the same way.

  • archer

    What a pussy, he feared for his life because a 95 yr. old man held a knife, what a hero. Maybe he should be flipping burgers instead of being a cop.

  • michael s

    Interesting white cops can kill black people ad infinitum and don’t get indicted. A Black cop kills a white guy(who was clearly threatening and being a criminal)the Black cop not only gets indicted he has to go to trial.

  • michael s

    The old white buzzard chose to be a hooligan and threaten cops. The old white buzzard got what he deserved.Kudos to Off Craig Taylor.