Families protest outside officer benefit

October 23, 2009 4:34:07 PM PDT
A benefit is being held at the union headquarters of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago for officer Joseph Frugoli.He is charged with reckless homicide and driving under the influence for a car crash that killed two people. Friends and family of the two people who died in that accident are held a vigil outside the FOP headquarters.

At FOP headquarters, 1412 W. Washington, Chicago, a benefit was scheduled at 6 p.m. for Chicago Police Detective Joe Frugoli - who's accused of driving drunk and killing two men in April. Police officers, friends and family who support Frugoli are each paying $50 to help raise money for him.

Fausto Manzera, 21, from Chicago, and his friend, 23-year-old Andrew Cazares of Summit were both killed in the crash. Outside the FOP Friday night, just steps away from Frugoli's fundraiser, friends and family members of the two victims held candles and prayed. Their mothers were there as well - each standing silently.

"I feel like somebody has slapped in my face to see this. I really don't think it's fair for us and for them," said Lorena Buenrostro, mother of Andrew Cazares.

Prosecutors say Frugoli's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at the time of the April accident. Frugoli was off-duty when his SUV slammed into a car on the Dan Ryan Expressway. The car burst into flames, killing Manzera and Cazares. On Friday night, their families and friends are waiting for their day in court.

"I hope that he gets the maximum, 42 years, because that's what he deserves. He doesn't deserve a life. He doesn't deserve a regular life. I could never have a regular life anymore. And, therefore, he doesn't deserve one, either," said Maria Velez, mother of Fausto Manzera.

In the meantime, Frugoli has been stripped of his police powers and is in a no-pay status with the Chicago Police Department while an internal investigation is conducted.

Protestors also went to the Area One Detective Division Wednesday night, where they say the host of the event is stationed.


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