Champaign council to vote on $93,000 settlement for man shot by cop

Champaign council to vote on $93,000 settlement for man shot by cop

CHAMPAIGN — The city council will vote Tuesday on a $93,000 settlement for an unarmed man shot in the shoulder by a Champaign police officer.

If approved, the money would be paid to Dehari Banks, 23, within seven days or as soon as possible afterward, according to a claim release from Champaign city attorney Fred Stavins. The claim release includes Banks' signature, dated Nov. 21.

The shot was fired June 11, and State's Attorney Julia Rietz decided in August not to pursue criminal charges against the officer, James Hobson.

Hobson described the shooting as accidental in a written report to CPD officials. He was trying to stop a vehicle driven by Banks for an alleged traffic violation. Banks didn't stop and reportedly crashed into a garage on East Church Street before fleeing on foot, according to the report.

A foot chase ensued with Hobson's gun drawn, and he said he slipped and accidentally fired. Hobson wasn't wearing a body camera since the technology was being used by CPD on a limited basis at that time.

Rietz said she reviewed squad car video of the incident, audio from a microphone Hobson was wearing, reports from Illinois State Police investigators — including their interview with Banks — and Hobson's written report before making her decision.

"Officer Hobson's display of his firearm was appropriate given the totality of the circumstances, and the evidence supports the conclusion that the firearm was discharged accidentally," Rietz wrote in a letter to Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb.

Hobson was initially put on paid administrative leave after the incident. CPD officials said in a news release that Hobson was switched to desk duty and firearms training once Rietz's decision was made.

CPD said in the news release that it would start an internal investigation of the incident in August, followed by a evaluation from its Firearms Discharge Review Board. Cobb would then complete a final review to implement his findings and recommendations, including any potential discipline.

LaEisha Meaderds, Chief Cobb's assistant, said in a message that information on the internal investigation and Hobson's current work status will be sent out this week.

After Banks was shot, he was arrested in August for aggravated fleeing from police and aggravated driving under the influence of cannabis. He was arraigned for the two charges and is set to appear in court on Jan. 3.

Stavins said that case doesn't affect Banks receiving the settlement if the council approves.

"This is a civil matter," Stavins said about the settlement. "The other is a criminal matter."

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GLG wrote on December 02, 2017 at 8:12 am

More taxpayer money paid to a criminal ! Fleeing the police, DUI Drugs! Only in Champaign!  City Attorney Fred Stavins has NEVER seen the inside of a courtroom, He is nothing but a "Money Handerouter" for the pittyful City of Champaign. 

Go back to law school Fred, You ever hear of defending the city from cases like this??

You should have waited for this man to file a suit against the city before handing out 90 grand!

Local Yocal wrote on December 02, 2017 at 9:12 am
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The city is getting off cheap and insurance will cover the cost of the settlement. wrote on December 02, 2017 at 10:12 am

and our premiums go up.  why was this motorist not charged that night or afterwards for fleeing the scene, fleeing and eluding and Driving while suspended?   did he get some special discount?  He is a criminal  doing criminal acts...... yet Fred makes him out like he is the poster child for safe driving.


what a joke.


My taxes go up to give 90k  settlements to criminals who break the law.


Here is how the meeting on Tuesday will go.


Mayor Giggles will look all serious and then tell us that she supports the police, but that it was in the best interest of the City to settle


The Walrus will look all serious and then tell us that the city does due dilegence in these cases and that they must weigh the outcomes and that this is for the best interst of the city


Brix and Pianfetti are not allowed to speak just yet, so they will look confused.


CM Fourman, well versed in traffic law and not stopping at accidents, will commend the police for doing their job but that this was an "unfortunate incident" with a young man who broke the law.


CM Kyles, hoping to run for Mayor, doesnt say a thing.


In the mean time, when this motorist gets fined next month, he better have not spent his 60k settlement yet and hopefully if he has any dependants on welfare, the state will come in and get their share before he spends it.

rsp wrote on December 02, 2017 at 7:12 pm

He wasn't charged that night because he was shot. And after a thorough look at the situation, maybe they decided his getting shot tipped the scales a bit. It shouldn't have happened. When you expect to enforce the law you have to have higher standards and set an example. And when you fall short you take responsibility. The city is setting an example by taking responsibility in this situation.

The guy driving the car has decided not to take responsibility for his actions. A few months from now he'll wonder where the money went. In a few days he will be very popular. I wouldn't want to be him.


yeahokay wrote on December 02, 2017 at 10:12 am

Hopefully his bond on his newest arrest is 10% of $940,000. Then it would just work out to be a transfer of money from City coffers into County ones, which the county desperately needs. 

Problem solved. 

narciblog wrote on December 02, 2017 at 10:12 am

"why was this motorist not charged that night or afterwards for fleeing the scene, fleeing and eluding and Driving while suspended?"

Seriously, could you not bother reading the article? He was arrested on two felonies. 

RedWing5 wrote on December 02, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Seriously? Did you not read the article? Banks was not charged for anything arising from the night of the shooting. Banks was subsequently arrested for another incident of DUS, DUI, and fleeing and eluding. wrote on December 02, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooops  I did read the article.  You did not.  SAD

BruckJr wrote on December 02, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Ouch, that one had to leave a mark.

Automan wrote on December 02, 2017 at 4:12 pm
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Banks' current criminal charges have nothing to do with the incident involving the officer shooting him in the arm.

charlesf wrote on December 02, 2017 at 10:12 pm

hi fellow old white people. i agree; this is ridiculous! he should get at least $800k! what happened to justice? smdh

KlaatuSansGort wrote on December 03, 2017 at 7:12 am

A few observations, respectfully submitted:

Anyone who has had true experience with Mr. Stavins would know him to be a consummate professional and a very capable litigator. Yes, he knows the inside of courtrooms quite well.

Without necessary reference to this case, readers should know that even cases that are perhaps meritless are frequently settled in anticipation of minimizing so-called "defense costs." The truth is that, whether in terms of the hourly rate of outside counsel or monetized resources of a city legal department, taking cases such as these to a jury and then to an appellate court might make any proposed settlement amount seem to be a pittance.

That American litigation is so expensive is alone lamentable, but until the present legal and cultural landscape is fundamentally altered such will remain a sad fact of life. Perhaps some day there will be broad adoption of the rule that losing plaintiffs pay the defendants their litigation costs.

Finally, one might again and ever be sad to see a forum for reader comments quickly degenerate into a cage for the voluble and witless, who seem only capable of throwing stones poorly aimed. wrote on December 03, 2017 at 7:12 am

When was the last time that Mr. Stavins took a case to trial personally?  In all cases such as this, the legal department HIRES OUT another law firm to handle the case.  If there is a real estate question the Legal department hires out.  The only thing that the legal department does is to make sure that 18 year olds pay their finek for drinking.  Noting more.  My point is to take these cases to trial.  Let see the evidence.  Let a jury of6 decide if running from the police, breaking int a storage shed, then turning and confronting the officer, alll of which is the dark is worth an $90K AD.   My guess is that a jury here in Champaign county would say no.  Much like they did when Old Yeller went to trial and they ended up with 0.


Jody Weiss demanded that every case involving the Chicago police department go to trial.  Guess what.  cases dropped and settlements dropped.  Here is it well known that Fred will not defend a case, so the checkbook is wide open.


Except of course for City employees who are owed back pay for their military time. In that case Fred says no... but be a criminal who flee's from the police?  How many zeros you want behind that 9?