by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times
CHICAGO — Convicted cop killers Veal and Hurst were paroled Thursday despite objections of law enforcement officials including Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Cop killers Johnny Veal, 68, and now 74-year old George Knights, who remains in prison, were convicted of the 1970 murders of Sgt. James Severin and Officer Anthony Rizzato while residing in the Cabrini-Green public housing complex. Both cop killers were sentence to 100 to 199 years.
Joseph Hurst, 77, was also paroled by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. Hurst was convicted for the 1967 slaying of Officer Herman Stallworth and the wounding of Stallworth’s partner after being stopped for a traffic violation.
When asked for comment former Superintendent Phil Cline of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation said:
“Clearly, the intent of the court was for these murderers to pay for the lives they stole with life in prison . . . More importantly, allowing these men to be free sends a troubling message to the families of these officers that their sacrifice and the lives of their loved ones are somehow insignificant.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was quoted describing the Sgt. Severin and Officer Rizzato slayings as “. . . a cold-blooded execution.”
Veal maintains his innocence in the slayings even in the face of solid evidence against him and fellow cop killer Knights. Foxx added that there is no evidence of police brutality in the interrogation of Veal and Knights by Chicago Police.
Hurst’s parole was also objected by Foxx in a letter sent to the board.
Hurst murdered Officer Stallworth after Hurst was detained in a street search. Hurst ran away firing at multiple officers killing Stallworth and wounding his partner in the face.
Hurst was handed down the death penalty after his conviction but dodged that fate after the U. S. Supreme court placed a moratorium on capital punishment. Hurst was handed 100 to 300 years in prison in place of the death penalty.
Pictures of Veal, Officer Rizzato, Sgt. Severin, Hurst, and Officer Stallworth