Probe sought in 'troubling' arrest in Champaign

Probe sought in 'troubling' arrest in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign City Manager Steve Carter and Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz have asked the Illinois State Police to review a video of the June 5 arrest of a Champaign man that contains what Carter has called "troubling" behavior by the arresting Champaign police officer.

The officer, whose name was not released, has been taken off patrol and reassigned to duties within the station, Carter said in a news release issued Saturday night.

Veteran Champaign defense attorney Mark Lipton represents the 20- year-old man who was charged with fel- ony resisting a peace officer — charges Rietz dismissed last week after seeing the squad-car video of the arrest.

Rietz said Lipton brought it to her attention earlier this month. He obtained it in the course of preparing his client's defense. Rietz said police don't automatically give her those videos with their reports unless prosecutors ask for them.

Lipton said he asked for it after seeing reference to it in the police report about the June 5 incident. His client, he said, is not seeking the limelight over what happened to him.

"My client, I believe, wants to continue school, get on with his life and put this behind him. He attends a community college," said Lipton, who described in detail for The News-Gazette what he saw on the video.

Lipton said it depicts activity that started in Campustown around Sixth and Green streets.

"There's a fair number of people on the street, not packed. You can see two uniformed foot-patrol officers who appear to be following at some modest distance behind youths who are walking west (on Green). There's a little bit of interaction between the police and one or more of these people. One of them is my client."

Lipton said that after talking to the youths, the officers eventually move away, "giving the impression they want these young people to keep moving away west down Green."

As the uniformed officers walk out of view, the car moves slowly, he said.

At the intersection of Green and Fourth streets, the young people can be seen crossing Fourth Street against the light. Lipton said he saw no traffic on Fourth. The officer then stopped his squad car in the intersection.

"The officer yells, 'Stop. Come back here,' and ultimately gets out of his car, catches up to my client, grabs him by the arm, and starts walking him back to the squad," Lipton said. "My client is upset and is being loud but is not fighting or trying to run away."

"He (the officer) walks him back to the front of the squad," he said. "My client is yelling and within two to three seconds of them getting to the front of the squad car, they stop. My guy is standing there yelling and, boom — pepper spray in the face.

"When I saw that part I was just honestly somewhat astounded. My impression was everything was under control until this officer decides to stop them for jaywalking," Lipton said, adding his client was apparently singled out for the jaywalking.

"After the officer pepper sprays him, another officer ends up being right there. They handcuff him and put him in the back seat of the squad car. He's still yelling and screaming. The camera is still facing forward. They drive away a short distance and the car pulls over again and my client is still yelling. He's yelling, asking for a specific officer he wants to talk to, (and says) 'Don't touch me. Just take me to jail.'"

"Then, as the camera is switched to view the back seat, you can see him sitting, obviously handcuffed, moving toward the middle of the back seat. You see the officer dive into the back seat and the officer has his hands around my client's neck and down they go out of the view of the camera," Lipton said, adding that he didn't time the video.

"He's yelling: 'He's choking me.' Basically, once I had gotten to that point, I was determined to share it with Ms. Rietz and (Champaign city council member and fellow defense attorney Tom) Bruno. I don't know if I've watched it all the way to the very end," Lipton said.

As the struggle was going on, a second officer's hand was broken, forming the basis of the charge against his client. Lipton said he didn't know how the officer was injured.

"Once I got to that point in the video, what my client told me was corroborated and I was convinced the state's attorney would take the action that Ms. Rietz ultimately took," Lipton said.

Rietz said Saturday that she chose not to pursue the prosecution based "on concerns I had about what I saw on the squad car video."

She said she met with Carter on Wednesday and on Friday both of them met with the state police.

"I think it would be a good idea to have a neutral outside set of eyes review the events," she said, adding state police still haven't said if they will.

Carter said the city will not put the video on the city's website — at Lipton's request — but said anyone who sees it would "maybe have the same questions I did."

"And that is just the thinking behind the initial stop and the use of pepper spray, the timing on that and some of the tactics used during the course of the arrest," Carter said.

Carter said the state police would look at whether the officer's actions were consistent with department policies and the law.

"I think the question is, first of all, whether or not in the course of the arrest did the officer violate any laws," Carter said.

After the arrest, a citizen complaint was filed against the officer. Police determined the officer's use of force was within policy and training standards.

But Carter said that investigation was incomplete.

"I looked over the report and it was not up to the usual standards of the ones that I see," he said.

The city manager does not typically see police complaints unless the citizen appeals the decision. The decision of whether to sustain or dismiss a complaint against a police officer is initially up to the police chief — in this case, outgoing Chief R.T. Finney.

"Typically there's a set of interviews of witnesses included, and those weren't included in this report," Carter said, adding the city has invited the man to appeal.

In the city press release, Finney, who plans to retire in January, takes sole responsibility for the investigation and says he continues "to have complete support and confidence in the men and women who work at the Champaign Police Department."

Carter also wants independent experts to review the complaint investigation process and the police use-of-force policy.

"You never like to have things happen that you question in terms of a police contact or an arrest," Carter said. "That's concerning."

The request for an outside investigation comes just weeks after the city was forced publicly to address allegations by some that 18-year-old Calvin Miller was beaten by police during his Oct. 24 arrest.

The city posted video of Miller's arrest on its website, and the evidence disproved some activists' claims.

Miller's father, Martel Miller, said the city should have the Federal Bureau of Investigations review the newest allegations because "the state police is too close" to the Champaign department, he said.

"They're trying to shape it to protect the rogue cops," Martel Miller said.

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John O'Connor wrote on November 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

My guy is standing there yelling and, boom — pepper spray in the face.

You see the officer dive into the back seat and the officer has his hands around my client's neck and down they go out of the view of the camera," Lipton said, adding that he didn't time the video.

He's yelling: 'He's choking me.'

Police determined the officer's use of force was within policy and training standards.

This is why we need a citizen review board. And more than that, if the events happened as described, the offending officer should be criminally charged and whoever determined his actions were just fine should be put on leave.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on November 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

I have a problem with the timing of the release of this information.  This incident happened in June.  Did it really take 5 months for things to get this far? ....or was this buried due to the other problems facing the CPD?  ....really makes you wonder.

Brownie wrote on November 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

First, let me say that I'm not against police officers using force where warranted.  However, this seems to be a case where excessive force was used -- Jumped into the back seat and was seen with his hands around the guy's neck?  There have been a lot of allegations of excessive police force in Champaign.  Sometimes that may be a tactic to avert blame, but the amount of allegations, coupled with this troubling incident make me wonder more how many of them are valid.

If the police are policing themselves we'll probably never know how many claims of excessive force are valid.  This case looks like a good example of that.

I'm always troubled by the comments about how people deserve whatever they get when they're arrested.  I strongly disagree with that.

I know there are 2 sided to these issues.  I just hope people will keep an open mind to each side and not dismiss the other out of hand.

Jsmith68 wrote on November 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

First Mike Howie how about a little equality in the removing of posts.  The guy calls police officer pigs, does that not warrant a removal?  If this incident is true as several of my contacts have told me it is then then the officer should be disciplined according to policy and departmental procedures.  I have some reservations if Chief Finney saw this incident and for some reason thought it was okay.  This should make everyone do a double take.  As had been said for a long time now only people will listen, the problem is the lack of leadership and integrity in the upper levels of the department, that would have kept an incident such as this from happening. And Martell Miller.  Come on folks listening to a convicted felon (public record) comment on this embarassing.  

Mr. Chung wrote on November 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

What a shoddy piece of journalism. Why is Mr. Miller quoted here?

pattsi wrote on November 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

There is a group in this community, CU Access, that has done some very interesting investigative reporting that has shed light on a number of important community issues. It might be  useful for the community to move forward and begin healing if this group used those same investigative skills to look at the intersection of community relations and the Champaign Police Department. The complaints brought before the city council are not new and have been made off and on the 40 years of my residency. During this time, one might ask what or who are the constants in decision making positions during "X" number of years? Looking at the data of complaints, the tenure of city decision makers along with those in the states attorney's office, and other variables, doing an analysis of variance might yield important information about cause and effect. Over this time period, there have been changes in decision making positions at a number of different levels and some decision makers have long tenure, but the complaints and community relations have not subsided or improved, respectively. Ought we, as a community, be asking the question as to why this is the case before a new police chief is chosen and a potential police review board is put in place. If this is an institutionalised situation then "new" might not be able to institute change

Commonsenseman wrote on November 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

So someone is starting some kind of altercation with oficers, officers walk away, then they stop him for a crime he becomes bellligerent, resists and gets pepper sprayed, then he becomes hostile in the squad car placing officers in danger and an officer has to subdue him, so whats the problem here?  Maybe todays young people should learn respect for law enforcement and maybe we need to remeber that lawyers  alwys spin the truth to favor their clients.  Lastly why does this story need a comment from local trouble maker Miller?

Brownie wrote on November 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

If this is the case then why do you think the states attorney withdrew the resisting arrest charge after seeing the video?  This sounds like the argument of "you deserve whatever you get" if you're arrested.  Police DO NOT have the right to take their agression out on suspects.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to restrain yourself in certain situations, but that's their job.

kyedpa5 wrote on November 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Choking is a violation of the use of force policy.  It is defined as deadly force, which this situation did not warrant.  Also, the fact that the states attorney, who has shown she is friendly towards the police force, threw out the charges upon reviewing the tape show that the use of pepper spray was also unwarranted.  I support police but they are human too and this appears to be a case where some kid mouthed off at the cops so the cop followed him to find a nit picky violation to harass the kid back.  The cop lost his temper and became a bully.  Police make mistakes sometimes, they are human, we cant defend them every single time simply because they are police.  This mans actions dont define CPD by any means, but he still clearly made a mistake. 

Yatiri wrote on November 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Ask Julia Rietz, obviously she saw a big problem.

Mr. Chung wrote on November 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Ya... an unarmed kid with his hands cuffed behind his back is a serious threat to those poor little po-pos and their 9mms.  Get real, man.

Mr. Chung wrote on November 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

The video from the cruiser can be seen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP76Oc3-fMw

The Real Luke wrote on November 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

"then he becomes hostile in the squad car placing officers in danger and an officer has to subdue him"

When exactly was the officer in danger?  It looks to me like a big guy with pepper spray and a gun has full control of the situation, and decided to pepper spray a cirizen in the face, just because he wanted to.  That's not OK.

 

"Maybe todays young people should learn respect for law enforcement"...

That respect would be a lot more forthcoming if the cops would behave in a respectable manner.  If the cops behave like this often, or cover for those who behave like this, then the police do not deserve respect from anyone, young or old.  I don't respect anyone who uses unnecessary violence, regardless of what kind of clothes or badge they do or don't wear.

ohnooo wrote on November 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

just like my nickname here, how in the world could someone that is subduded in a cage of a squad, with handcuffs be a threat, other than verbal. My belief is the officer need ear plugs, and should wear oven mitts !  and whats up with the amount of reporting on this NG ? how come its has taken so long to bring within the public eye ?

Commonsenseman wrote on November 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

If the officer "dove" into the backseat obviously there was no cage.  Cuffed people still hit, kick and spit on police officers, bet you a dollar this "student" has been arrested previously, maybe when his identity is revealed we will know his past criminal history, and realize the police did us a favor by keeping him off the streets

ohnooo wrote on November 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm

well this goes to show that certian individials should be caged, from either view point

Commonsenseman wrote on November 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

If the officer was grabbing him trying to control him from the front seat how could video from the front see what he was doing? and if the supsect was being choked how could he yell anything?  If you are trying to control someone in the back of your car you have no choice but to grab them by either neck or shoulders.  Lawyers twist the truth, thats their job.

Yatiri wrote on November 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Release the video so we can all see.

Incredulous wrote on November 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

What a bunch of garbage.  And so many readers buy it as the truth because they believe in the News Gazette.  Patrick Wade and Mary Schenk should be ashamed of themselves.  They should be censured and ordered to report stories about new playgrounds and sewer system renovations.  The venom in this article is obvious.  And it is dangerous.  Every person in administration at the News Gazette should be ashamed for allowing this muck-raking to continue. Wade/Schenk quote the defendant's attorney and Enoch Miller as if they are experts of some sort.  Well, congratulations to you, Mary and Pat.  You have given voice to a convicted drug dealer week in and week out.  It is refreshing to see convicted felons given so much credibility in print media.  If you let a lie be told often enough, even the teller of the lie will begin to believe it.  I abhor police violence.  I am sickened to think that anyone has the right to abuse their power and authority.  It is that same moral code that sickens me to see the tripe Schenk/Wade vomit onto the pages of this newspaper.  I find it odd that Wade has so much disdain for police considering his father served with distinction as a patrol officer and lieutenant in Lagrange, Chief of Police of Sauk Village, and the Chief of Police of Tinley Park.  There is a divide between the police department and a very small number of citizens.  Enoch and his followers have sought to lambaste and destroy the police.  Pat and Mary have served Enoch well.  Congratulations to the News Gazette for polarizing both sides and making a mountain out of a mole hill.  Guess what!  There will always be people who hate the police.  They were trained to hate the police.  They will train others to hate the police.  Apparently, Pat, Mary, et. al. at the News Gazette received the same training.

Commonsenseman wrote on November 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

The attitude of some of our  citizens make me ill, with their claims "kids are afraid of the police" and their constant tale telling, whenever the real facts are presented where are these "acivists" then? why dont they ever apologize for their polarizing behaviors?  It does seem odd that a story about the police department has commentary from someone who obviously hates the police department.  Why does the paper see fit to print his biased commentary? what happened to the olden days where newspapermen worked with the police to help  catch criminals rather then side with them?

John O'Connor wrote on November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Ya, things were so much better in the olden days. Certain people knew their place and didn't make trouble when the cops straightened them out and taught them some respect.

John O'Connor wrote on November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

You forgot to call out that notorious cop hater, Rietz. Why, exactly, do you think she dropped the resisting arrest charges after seeing the video?

John O'Connor wrote on November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

.

kyedpa5 wrote on November 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Ignoring everything else you said, I'd say a lawyer is actually technically a legal expert more so than any other member of society.  But thats just me.  And I'm no expert. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

It is sad that the comments are clouded by those who have caused problems with the police.  Of course, they were unjustly accosted by the public protectors during their illegal activities.  The matter will be resolved by the law; not by the criminal commentors.     

82507 wrote on November 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I am ashamed of the people that read an article and believe what it says. First of all if something was wrong with this arrest and how the officers handled it, wouldn't it have been an issue back in June?? Was the criminal complying with the officers?? Most likely he was not, because otherwise this necessary force would not have needed to be used. I am ashamed of the media, city council, and the citizens of Champaign that do not support Champaign Police Department. These men and women took an oath to protect and serve this community and its people. The police officers do their job by protecting and serving YOU, and what do you people do?? That's right, you bad mouth them, degrade them, do not appreciate what they do. So next time you start to talk bad about the department why don't you stop and think , where would we be if we did not have the police here to protect and serve?? Think, there would really be no Champaign, but a huge community of Caprini Greens.

read the DI wrote on November 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

Listening to the cops play the victim is getting tiresome.

The minorities in Champaign are getting singled out and brutalized by the cops. White kids do the same things and they are ignored. When was the last time a white youth accused the cops of brutality? When was the last time a white kid was even arrested for jaywalking or similar action?

You mention Cabrini (not "Caprini") Green. Champaign cops walk into situations with their guns drawn. Chicago cops do not. This tells me Champaign cops are out of shape wimps who are looking for a fight. They all need to be retrained, and in most cases, let go.

 

Local Yocal wrote on November 21, 2011 at 7:11 am
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Yeah, the poor police. That darn squad car camera caught them doing what some of the officers have been doing for years. That camera should not have lied so much! And then who in the evidence room actually had the nerve to secure the video and give it to the defense attorney? How dare they! And then for that defense attorney to share it with the city manager, the state's attorney, and the city council members! Don't those people have any respect for police work? For them to look at the video and be "troubled" and drop the falsified charges, and know that the city is in for another round of out-of-court settlement money (ala Larry Martin, Kiwane Carrington, the videographers of 2004), really have no appreciation for how officers sometimes have to knock some compliance into people- even after they are handcuffed. The poor, poor police, picked on by journalists who were called to a press conference by the city manager. Why didn't they just stay home and ignore the city manager's offer to answer some questions? Pepper spray the journalists! That will teach them to mess with the Champaign Police!

Commonsenseman wrote on November 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

again there are many holes in this story, squad car cameras  usually face front not the back and people being "choked" cant speak and again "Lawyers always spin untruths" it is what their jobs are

John O'Connor wrote on November 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

The story said the camera was switched to face the back. Are you contending that's a lie? Again, why would Reitz drop the resisting arrest charges if there was not problem?

82507 wrote on November 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

You are right , the police officers don't do there job, they don't have to worry about their safety, or making sure they go home every night to their family. They are just robots here to beat people, right?? If you haven't noticed the city council does not back the police department, which is disgusting. Do people really think officers over step their boundaries and decide to beat people?? I can not believe the lack of police support in this community, it is terrible. Disgusting.

Local Yocal wrote on November 21, 2011 at 10:11 am
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You are probably right. The cameras "usually" face the front, so whatever choking, the defense attorney, the State's attorney, the city manager, and city council were looking at, must have been a "hole in the story." Wonder why they made that "choking story" up? Wow. Common sense says it's clearly one of the greatest conspiracies ever devised by local officials.

Beem wrote on November 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

I have now watched the video (on smile politely's site, courtesy of youtube) and saw no choking. I saw the cop push him down by his neck, and this lasted for about one second, but I saw no choking, and the kid was yelling the whole time.

cats kradle wrote on November 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

By George, I think you're right! He pepper sprays him without cause, cuffs him, throws him in the back, takes him for a ride without reading him his rights or telling him where he's going, jumps him in the back seat, puts his hands on his neck, but as evidenced by the man's screams the cop does NOT squeeze his fingers hard enough to choke off the man's air supply! Therefore he followed proper police procedure!


Hey, after watching the video and reading the comments here, I figure what the heck, I might as well become a citizen of bizarro world, too!


 


 

suckerpunch wrote on November 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

 

A person who knowingly resists or obstructs the performance by one known to the person to be a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his official capacity commits a Class A misdemeanor

 

Officer told him to stop and then had to walk him back to the car. He would not put his hands on the car and pulls away. Force (pepper spray) was used to arrest him.

 

An Officer had a hand broken during the arrest:

 

A person convicted for a violation of this Section whose violation was the proximate cause of an injury to a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee is guilty of a Class 4 felony

 

The officer is permanently maimed by the thug and Gutless Julia drops the charges against him.

 

He refuses to identify himself in the back seat contrary to the NAACP guidelines. He also attempted to walk away from the officer at the beginning of the contact. This also is not advised by the NAACP.

 

He removed quickly from the back seat and not hurt in the process.

 

This is a political move by the city manager who now has guaranteed a payout to this future astronaut. Disgusting and typical for the true problem with CPD leadership...Steve (Mr. Burns) Carter.

Local Yocal wrote on November 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm
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Yeah, such simple and proper police procedures: Driving the wrong way down Healy street, circling back to Green. Watching two officers decide not to effect any arrest of the youth they are following, but then Officer Simons decides to act on his own, on what intelligence is not known. After the two walking officers have decided to let the particular crowd go on, Simons decides he's going to pursue anyway. Oddly, Officer Lieb [again?] it appears has been notified to cut off the route of the pedestrian Officer Simons has decided to go after, and you see Lieb pull his squad car into the drive of the 7-11 in the background. Could we hear that METCAD transmission of how and why these two officers coordinated that?  Simons pulls into the intersection of Green and fourth, and runs after the youth he's decided to apprehend, for what crime we don't know- walking while black apparently. The use of the pepper spray is unfounded as the youth is providing no active resistance. After he's placed in handcuffs, he is "driven around"? to the post office parking lot? What for? The camera is switched around to the back and we see Simons open the back door to administer some kind of hostile physical behavior on the handcuffed youth. Yep, perfectly standard police procedure. Gosh, it's so unfair the way the police are being stereotyped. That damn camera is such a liar.

Incredulous wrote on November 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Wow, looks like we got us some insiders posting on here.  Yocal mentions officers by name, describes the video like he has a copy, and talks about police procedure like he knows the policies of the Champaign police.  So you a cop or a city council member?  By the way did I read right that the mean old officer turned the camera ON so he could then violate the offenders civil rights?  How stupid must that cop be?  Or perhaps he knew that someone would get their proverbial jockeys in a bunch.  So maybe he hoped video would document what he did to help his case.  Silly officer.  Don't you know folks around these parts hear--and SEE--whatever the News Gazette wants them to?  Clearly, the cops should have let this young man do whatever he wants.  How dare the police arrest someone for violating the law?  How dare they expect that arrested person to do what they are told by the cops?  How dare they enforce laws that Julia won't prosecute?  Say, maybe that's the answer!  Let's have Julia and Steve meet up with Pat and Mary to talk about how police should do their jobs.  I mean that is a group of four who have no idea how to do their own jobs.  They might as well spend their time tell cops how to work.  They have the same level of understanding for the job of police as they do for their own work.

John O'Connor wrote on November 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

So, it's your contention that the NG, Rietz, and Carter involved in an ongoing conspiracy against the police? That says a lot about where you're coming from.

cats kradle wrote on November 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

More commentary from bizarro world! You're right! We're all just mind slaves of the News-Gazette even though we saw the video on Smile Politely! I swear fealty to thee, Mary Schenk! Please don't go on vacation! I need to know what to think! And lets give that cop a hand for not strangling the guy to death in the back of the squad car! He might have given him a big blast of pepper spray straight in the eyeballs for talking and he might have body slammed a handcuffed prisoner in the back seat like he was Hulk Hogan, but there's no evidence of attempted homicide! Give him a medal! A heavy one that he can use to bash potty mouthed jaywalkers over the head!

hrmnii4 wrote on November 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Why did it take so long to come to light?  It's called 'discovery'.  Atty. Lipton stated he read there was video in the police report.  In order to get a copy of that video, he has to make a motion and then the video will be produced.  Sometimes it takes a long time.  The video was thought troubling enough by a seasoned criminal attorney that he took it to the people who had the authority to do something about it.  Not release it to the media.  Why is there such a big uproar?  If someone did something wrong, it will be dealt with and it's not up to John Q. Public to made judgments based on what we read, hear or see in the media.  The media make lots of mistakes - all the time.   If you want to make a value judgment, get the facts first and then you might be qualified to express an informed opinion instead of an inflamed one.  If you are naive enough to believe that no peace officers in service in this country have ever overstepped their bounds, may your rose-colored glasses never be broken.  Conversely, should we believe every officer is bad, NO!  But if something happens that should be dealt with, then put it through the proper channels, which is what is happening here.  Get a grip folks.  A couple of college kids were jay-walking.  That's such a shocking revelation and unusual occurrence on the U of I campus - who would do such a thing!  And let's not forget, according to those reports we're reading, no one was driving on the road so no one's traffic progress was impeded.  Does it make jaywalking right?  No, but get real!!  IT'S JAYWALKING!   How many times have you done it?  Does this warrant stopping and detaining them?  Does it warrant pepper spray?   Does it warrant handcuffs?  Perhaps the young man was belligerent.  Let's all take a step back and remember ourselves and some of our actions.  Any way you look at it, there's an apparent punishment that doesn't fit this crime.   And an independent set of eyes is best suited to make that determination.  Let them do their jobs.  Which is exactly what the News Gazette was doing.  All they can report is what is told to them.  There are a LOT of people who refuse to be interviewed by the media, much less quoted.  More people don't want to get involved than do. If someone has factual information to contribute, stand up and let your voice be heard.  And may those of you that only have your opinions be quiet long enough to listen......

Commonsenseman wrote on November 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

The police have been under pressure to stop attacks on U of I students perpetrated by townies,  belligerent local resists arrest gets maced, then becomes out of control, officer turns camera to  document situation,  suspect continues to resist..pretty simple explanation, as for Julia Rietz shes a politician I dont know which is worse lawyer or politician and she is both. personally I feel the disrespectful behavior of  local young people can all be traced back to our public school system that allows these kids to act this way

Who wrote on November 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Commonsenseman, I totally agree with you! If you actually watch the video you see the officer's hands were near the guy's neck for maybe a 1/2 a second....does this really make it choking? What I see is an officer who is only guilty of putting his hands not in a good area to push the guy out of the car. If it was choking then it would have lasted longer then a 1/2 second.

Julia Rietz has no back bone that is why she dropped the charges. She doesn't want to tarnish her records by charging this guy if it is seen in bad light.  For a wife of a former police officer she certianly doesn't support the police.

As for the City of Champaign they should be ashamed of themselves for making any kind of comments without first investigating the problem. The mayor and city manager want to mend fences with the community and the police...how about investigating the issue before making comments to the media which then only makes it look like you don't like your own police department.

It is a shame that officers have a split second to make decisions and yet everyone else can play Monday morning quarterback to blame the police. Guess the police should not arrest anyone and just drive around waving at people and kiss babies. Wake up people do you want our streets to be over run like Decatur is?

scollins4444 wrote on November 22, 2011 at 7:11 am
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What is disturbing is the kid ran his mouth too much but that doesn't give police the right to spray him and then spray at others. In the video I saw 6 jaywalkers on the police dashcam on their way to make the arrest. If you also watched the dashcam, their was another person in the dashcam on the sidewalk that circled his hands--like signaling the police to roll--that is exactly what the police done when approaching these kids. i also seen the two girls in the video approach the guy that got arrested, left him, then put something in her bra. It's all on the dashcam. It's the girl with the high heels and mini dress. Something there was going on but from that video, the police were too aggressive and those kids were up to something. Look at the video closely. It seems to me that the kid have contraban, gave it to the girl, and walked off. The police were out of line when he almost used his vehicle to run down that person in the crosswalk. I think that's what needs to be adrressed, almost striking a pedestrian!

spangwurfelt wrote on November 22, 2011 at 8:11 am

It's far past the point where it's clear that Champaign needs a Citizen's Police Review Board.

Chief Finney can't leave soon enough.

Commonsenseman wrote on November 22, 2011 at 9:11 am

A citizens review board is just a tool for criminals, we don't need a review board, we need a Mayor, City Manager and States Atty that support law enforcement.  This video is just like the other, used by people who hate the police for doing their jobs to create probems in the community.  I'm glad  the police are gtting tough with these punks their parents and the schools wont do it, so now the police are stuck with the job.

John O'Connor wrote on November 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

This is in fact exactly why we need a police review board. Once the review board is in place, we, as citizens in this community, will have a voice in determining what is acceptable police conduct and what is out of bounds. Police cannot be expected to always properly police themselves.

Going to the state cops is an improvement, but still not really adequate. In order to properly gauge our community standard regarding policing, all members of the community must not only be heard, but they all must also have real power in making that determination.

Who wrote on November 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

It continues to blow me away that people want to blame Chief Finney. I feel sorry for the next Chief that comes in because no matter what they do or who they are the City will continue to blame them for every thing.


These "victims" as they want to call themselves need to take responsibility for their own actions. Like others have commented, how about obeying an order from an officer? Again these are issues that begin in the home and apparently their is no home teaching them the correct way to act in society. If my children would speak to myself or an officer they way this guy did, they would be have a lot to worry about, I would not tolerate such behavior from my child.

IU1977 wrote on November 23, 2011 at 9:11 am

Is this the same Brandon Ward who came in third in the State Wrestling last year?


http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/prep-sports/wrestling/2010-02-09/decorated-ward-hoping-finally-reach-state.html

Beem wrote on November 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

I guess that would be him. And then that would also make him the one who was guilty of several counts of domestic battery. Such a nice young man.