Holly Blomberg 0

Consideration for Samuel Lee Bassett, Air Force Veteran who was trying to save his dog

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The Honorable Anita Alvarez
State's Attorney, Cook County Illinois
69 W. Washington, Suite 3200
Chicago, Illinois 60602

As you are aware, Mr. Bassett was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of felony battery on a police officer, and one count of misdemeanor resisting police. Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois, Jr. ordered Mr. Bassett to be held on $300,000 bond.

While these accumulated charges should not be taken lightly, as the criminal justice system is properly concerned with police officer safety, the context in which the offenses occurred bears serious consideration. In the heat of the moment, as Mr. Bassett stood before his burning home, he struggled to go in to save his dog while officers attempted to restrain him. As an officer put handcuffs on his left hand, Bassett allegedly raised his right arm with a closed fist and hit the officer in the face, leaving cuts on the bridge of the officer's nose. During the altercation, an officer hit Mr. Bassett in the face with handcuffs, leaving a cut on his left cheek. A police spokesperson later said that the officer's injuries were absolutely minor.

Mr. Bassett has no criminal record. It would appear that but for the intensely traumatic situation--watching his home burn while knowing that his dog was trapped in the basement--Mr. Bassett would not have had the physical altercation with police officers.

We respectfully request that, in light of the extenuating circumstances, Mr. Bassett's felony counts be reduced to misdemeanors, and the issue of his $300,000 be revisited with the court.

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