Community group wants more immediate change in police relations

 A community group in Champaign wants to speed up the process of improving relations between police and community members.

The Champaign Community and Police Partnership held a press conference Tuesday in the wake of the latest allegation against the Champaign Police Department, where an African-American man was pepper sprayed and choked while being arrested.

Seon Williams of the partnership said the group has been working for years to improve community relations, but incidents like the June 5 arrest erase all that progress.

Patricia Avery, a member of the partnership and interim president of the Champaign County NAACP, said talks of forming a police review board are encouraging, but the group also wants the police department to review its "use of force" policy.

She said the upcoming hire of a new police chief is a chance to turn over a new leaf in community relations.

Avery says partnership members will discuss the June 5 arrest, as well as strategies for improving police-community relations, at a meeting Monday.

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

Why is this article worded as if the following were fact: " African-American man was pepper sprayed and choked while being arrested"? He was obviously pepper sprayed but there was no choking. Pushing back by the neck is not choking. The word "allegation" earlier in the sentence doesn't give this a pass. The press is always overly concerned with using "alleged" when referring to criminals' conduct, so please do the same with the police.