This morning, at 8:47 AM the Chicago Tribune reported that,
“The Iowa Court of Appeals this morning overturned the assault conviction of former Chicago police officer Michael Mette and ordered him acquitted.Mette was a four-year veteran of the police department when he was found guilty in 2007 of assault causing serious injury in connection with a fight two years earlier in Dubuque. Jacob Gothard, a member of the Dubuque College golf team, was left with brain hemorrhages and a broken nose, cheekbone and jaw. Mette has served 11 months of a 5-year sentence. It was not immediately clear when he would be released. The appeals court sent the case back to a lower court to enter an acquittal verdict. In essence, the appeals court accepted Mette’s argument that he was acting in self defense and had no opportunity to avoid the fight. It said the lower court had erred in finding that Mette had an opportunity to retreat.”
Finally, sanity in a most Kafkaesque situation. I always found this disturbing because if it could happen to a Chicago Police Officer, with a network of brothers, this type of thing can easily, and I am sure it has, happen to countless others who have neither the resources, family, the community support or media support to keep the story alive.
The media hasn’t done a great job of keeping this story alive after it first became news, except for John Kass, who has diligently continued to provide coverage and to write in such a manner that anyone who hadn’t heard about Mike Mette’s bizarre imprisonment would be able to grasp the relevant information both historically and at that moment. Still, one person’s voice can go a long way when they have the reach of a major Chicago newspaper. Several blogs, including the Second City Cop, have made frequent posts and were part of a support group that attended Mette’s appeals hearing.
Overturning the assault conviction should mean that Mr. Mette can return to what he was doing before he decided to visit Iowa: go back to being a Chicago cop. Given the lack of hiring by the City for new Police Officers, having someone with several years on the street is a plus.
Please consider making a donation to his defense fund. I am sure his family owes his attorney money that need to be repaid.