Champaign reverend urges more civil dialogue in Calvin Miller talks

Champaign reverend urges more civil dialogue in Calvin Miller talks

     A Champaign religious leader and former head of the Champaign County NAACP is speaking out about the Calvin Miller arrest.

     The Rev. Jerome Chambers said the police car video released Monday shows that Miller made the wrong decision when he ran from police, and that his father, Martel Miller, knows his son made a big mistake.

     Chambers said the black community in Champaign is not making any progress in relations with the police department by verbally attacking officers over incidents like this one.

     At the same time, Chambers said, police officers need to make an effort to improve community relations as well.

     Chambers said that if the black community in Champaign wants to present a united front, it needs to find an good spokesman.

     He said Martel Miller has not adequately filled that role, saying that Miller speaks for himself and not the black community.

     Chambers made the comments Tuesday morning on "A Penny For Your Thoughts" with Jim Turpin on NewsTalk 1400-WDWS AM

     Click here to listen to the entire Tuesday edition of "A Penny For Your Thoughts", which includes the full interview with Chambers.

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freechampaign wrote on November 01, 2011 at 4:11 pm

THANK YOU Rev. Jerome Chambers. Hope you will be attending tonight's meeting.

Champaignite wrote on November 01, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I have been thinking the same thing since this circus began a few days ago. Very well said, Reverend Chambers. I do agree that there are issues but I don't think that Mr. Miller creating an issue really helps solve any problems or helps to heal any relationships.

selguy wrote on November 01, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Quite frankly, this incident is a lot of hot air spewed out by Martel Miller. The lesson for Calvin in all this is "Father doesn't Know Best"

IU1977 wrote on November 01, 2011 at 5:11 pm

What specific concrete tangible points does Rev. Chambers believe that the CPD should do to change the atmosphere? I was reading the other day the comments of the NE part of Champaign some 30+ years ago. The complaints were the same as today. Should CPD not enforce the law? Should they risk harm to themselves by not being defensive when required to do so? It seems to me that CPD is governed by laws and by policies that are in some cases far more restrictive than the laws are. What more should they do? Do not commit crimes and you will not meet the police unless your a victim and then I could care less what they do with the suspect.

John O'Connor wrote on November 01, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Regardless of the outcome of this individual case, it does show that the police do not have the full confidence of many in this community. And those who have questions are not limited to the coded references to 'NE Champaign.' Being a cop is a tough job and not all charges of police misconduct and abuse are legitimate. By the same token, not all are bogus and some are completely accurate.

One thing this case brings into clear focus is the need for a citizen review board. It should be a requirement that the new chief is in agreement with such a policy. A citizen review board would allow for full, frank and civil airing of concerns and allegations from all of us. Seriously, what is the downside?

freechampaign wrote on November 01, 2011 at 11:11 pm

There would be nothing wrong with a review board as long as the city is aware that there are laws that govern citizen review boards. Such as a sworn affidavit must be signed by the person making the complaint stating that the information is true and accurate. That if the complaint can result in discipline such as time off, loss of pay or loss of employment the affidavit must be signed and must be attached to the complaint. This gives the officer protection from false claims and like has happened in other cities allows the officer to file civil action against the person filing a false complaint. The review board must remain two sided and not just an outlet for citizen but the officer as well.