News - Joliet and Will County

Joliet woman pleads not guilty to obstruction of officer charge in prayer vigil clash case

Konika Morrow stands along a curb on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Joliet, Ill., where she says a Joliet police officer "rushed" her. A video of the incident on Facebook Live shows an officer appearing to tackle Morrow to the ground during a fray. Police said in a Facebook post a crowd became "unruly" after officers tried to subdue a man riding a dirt bike.

A Joliet woman pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstruction of a police officer that was filed against her in connection with a July incident where officers and prayer vigil attendees clashed.

On Tuesday, Konika S. Morrow, 39, of the first block of North Hickory Street, was charged with obstruction of a police officer. Morrow’s attorney, Neil Patel, said she is accused of taking a step toward Joliet police officer Alan Vertin while he was investigating Joshwa Cooley, who she said is her nephew.

Morrow pleaded not guilty to the charge. Her next court date was scheduled for Oct. 1.

Patel said he received the police reports in Morrow’s case and he plans to do his own investigation of it.

On July 9, a prayer vigil was held for Morrow’s missing cousin, Jasmine Morrow, outside Sacred Heart Church on South Ottawa Street.

The vigil was interrupted by officers pursuing an ATV and a dirt bike.

The officers pulled over one of the bikers, Cooley, and a “large crowd from the church came over and told Cooley not to talk to the police, and it was OK to ride ATVs in the street,” police said.

Police said the crowd threatened the officers with harm and made “racial/derogatory remarks” at them.

Jasmine Morrow’s sister, Jamaica Morrow, who was at the vigil, insisted that did not happen.

Police said Konika Morrow refused to stay back from the officers, yelled at them and “attempted to hit the officer with her arm.”

Konika Morrow said the police account is false and that one of the officers “rushed me to the ground like he’s playing football.”

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News