CHICAGO - Scores of Chicago police officers and family members are expressing outrage after a convicted cop killer got a second chance to walk free.
A Cook County judge on Monday re-sentenced Hector Delgado for the 2001 murder of Officer Brian Strouse.
“I love him and I miss him. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him,” said Cindy Strouse.
Cindy’s brother, Chicago Police Officer Brian Strouse, was gunned down in 2001 while working as part of a tactical team on the Southwest Side. Delgado, then 16, was arrested and convicted of killing the officer and sentenced to life in prison.
But in 2012, the US Supreme Court banned life sentences for juveniles, citing the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
So on Monday, Delagado, now 35, was back in court to be re-sentenced -- with nearly 100 Chicago police officers and members of Strouse's family packing the courtroom.
"Brian was an amazing individual. He did everything right,” said the officer’s girlfriend at the time of his death, Kathy Konecny.
After two hours of testimony, Judge Lawrence Flood re-sentenced Delgado to 40 years in prison, saying that's the maximum he could give a juvenile. That means Delgado will likely be a free man before he turns 57.
"You commit a crime, I don't care what age you are, 16 years old, out at two in the morning, a 40 caliber weapon shooting at police, you got what you got the first time,” sister Cindy said.
"Today they only gave 40 years to a person who murdered a police officer in uniform, performing his duties, trying to make the city safer. There was an injustice that happened again here today,” said Fraternal Order of Police president Kevin Graham.
There is a chance Delgado could get out even sooner. His public defenders say there is an ongoing appeal of day-for-day time for juveniles that if applied to this case means he could potentially be free in just a couple more years.