UPDATED: UI basketball player Paul arrested

UPDATED: UI basketball player Paul arrested

CHAMPAIGN — A University of Illinois basketball player charged with resisting a police officer and underage drinking is due back in court next month.

Darius Paul, 20, who listed an address in the 0-100 block of East Healey Street, Champaign, was arrested about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday by UI police after they say he ran from them.

UI police Capt. Roy Acree said shortly after 3 a.m., two UI officers were in the 0-100 block of East Springfield Avenue in their cars talking to each other when they spotted two men walking across the parking lot at the South China restaurant at 25 E. Springfield Ave.

"They appeared to be acting suspiciously," said Acree.

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The officers saw the pair cross the parking lot, then lost sight of them; then one of the men, later identified as Paul, reappeared on the northwest side of the viaduct.

"It appeared he was trying to evade them," Acree said. "At that time, the officer tried to make contact and Paul started to walk away. The officer asked him to stop and he started to run."

Another officer pursued Paul on foot and eventually tackled him outside his apartment in the 0-100 block of East Healey Street, which is about three blocks from where police first saw him. Neither Paul nor the officer was hurt.

"During the interview, he admitted he had been drinking a large amount of alcohol," Acree said, "so he was arrested for misdemeanor obstructing a police officer and illegal consumption of alcohol."

Acree said Paul, a sophomore transfer from Western Michigan University who sat out last season due to NCAA rules, told police he had been drinking in his own apartment. He was taken to the satellite jail in east Urbana, where he posted cash bond and was released.

Acree said the officers never found the second man they had initially seen with Paul.

Paul was charged Tuesday with resisting a peace officer and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, both Class A misdemeanor offenses carrying a maximum penalty of up to 364 days in the county jail and a fine up to $2,500.

He appeared before Judge Jeff Ford, along with his attorney, Steve Beckett of Urbana. Ford told Paul to be back in court May 16. His father was in court with him. Paul declined to answer any questions about his arrest.

Illinois coach John Groce was on the road recruiting Tuesday. He released a statement on the matter through the university.

"We are aware of the situation that occurred with Darius and are in the process of gathering more information," Groce said. "We need to let the legal process run its course, and then will determine appropriate disciplinary action."

Acree said the situation could have been avoided if Paul "just did what he was supposed to do and talked to the police."

"If you're not doing anything wrong, there is no reason to avoid us. If the police do stop you, do what you are asked to do," Acree said.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 22, 2014 at 11:04 am
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Walking across a parking lot? That's suspicious?

 

Fruit of a poisonous tree.

Joe American wrote on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Obviously it wasn't the act of walking across the parking lot which was deemed suspicious.  I know that.  You know that.  Come on Rob.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm
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I know nothing of the sort, and neither do you.

 

I can infer that it's a headache for Rietz, because she doesn't want to look all John Pilandy in immediately dropping the charges.

 

I can infer that it'll be the cause of many future headaches for Jeff Christensen, Robin Kaler ... even Phyllis Wise. 

 

Cops sitting in squad cars, talking to each other, while the engines are running, on Earth Day, on the very day when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory announces an atmosperic carbon level above 400 ppm for an entire month ... and then chasing down and tackling a kid whose only chargeable offense is resisting being chased and tackled?

 

Any evidence obtained subsequent to an improper arrest may be stricken. You know that. I know that.

 

Whatever Acree thinks, the citizen's duty to talk to police is still guided by constitutional law, not by the whims of beat cops. Darius comes from a good family, and his dad is a beat cop. He has a very good idea of the realities involved when dealing with bored police officers.

 

I can easily imagine a scenario in which the subject of this story transforms, right in front of your eyes, to questioning our local policing tactics and methods.

 

tselliott63 wrote on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

It's 3am in the morning and they see two individuals in the parking lot of a closed business. The article doesn't state how/where exactly they're walking. They could have been right up next to the building around the windows or doors. We don't know enough from this article to call into question the officers' actions. We do know he ran and that's reasonably construed as suspicious behavior.

rsp wrote on April 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

This is from the Tribune: "Darius Paul was walking across the South China restaurant parking lot on Springfield St. after 3 a.m. Tuesday, when an officer noticed him. She lost sight of him before she noticed him again in a location where it appeared he had been walking across railroad tracks.

When the officer followed Paul on foot and ordered him to stop, he began walking at a brisker pace, Acree said. When Paul was asked to stop a second time, he began running. He was tackled and apprehended"
outside his house.

I've done the same thing and been ignored by the police, I've cut through the parks at night which is illegal and been ignored by the police. But I'm white. He ran after they tried to stop him. What were their grounds for stopping him in the first place? Cutting across a parking lot? I could come up with pictures of cops doing that.

Chief Wonka wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

It would seem that the U of I Police Department has a better physical conditioning program then the basketball program does.

Dan Bloeme wrote on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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I evade/avoid police all the time. I just don't want to be stopped and harrassed. Is that wrong or suspicious? Police don't always have a valid reason to stop people and then interrogate and search them. This case smells like racial profiling since their suspect was not observed commiting any transgression or crime. This concept of must obey can also be an abuse of power and officer tackling him is outright assault. Shame on UI police and state's attorney Rietz with their Gestapo tactics.

tselliott63 wrote on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

True, police don't always have a valid reason. However, it's just as true that sometimes they do. You don't have enough information to call this a racial profiling incident. You're leaping to conclusions by doubting the actions or character of these officers with just the minimal information from this article.

Dan Bloeme wrote on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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It is so obviously racial profiling. Paul was NOT observed committing a crime, just being a black man out and about in early am which is his right. Should not be reason to try and stop him. You may not mind a Gestapo like police state because you may be afraid of thugs and criminals out there in the night. I lean towards freedom and innocewnt until proven guilty. No one should be stopped and forced to submit unless they were observed breaking the law. Period. Plus if police stopped every student that had been drinking and consciously avoids them, they could literally detain and arrest thousands upon thousands of 'suspicious acting' drunk students every week in Champaign. Sheesh . .

tselliott63 wrote on April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Nothing obvious about it. Notice the article doesn't state the race of the other man. He could easily could have been any race - including caucasion. You're either trolling, willfully ignoring the facts, and/or blind to the possibility that the officers may have been performing their duties properly. You're leaping to whatever biased conclusions you wish to be true regardless of the facts or available information.

Dan Bloeme wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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Okay then, I'm not saying it was definitely profiling, but still it may be for all we know. I saw no good reason to stop someone in early morning for crossing a parking lot and detouring around police cars, unless the police are profiling/guessing in some way. You may not think it's odd to be stopped for being out walking and are okay with it but I am not. In that respect we will never agree. Unless caught in the act of something illegal or matching exact description of a reported perpetrator, I would never happily consent to being stopped and questioned and would avoid if possible.

ERE wrote on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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He's a 20 year-old kid, a college student.

He drank alcohol, and apparently too much. Not what you want an underage college student to do, esp. someone with a high profile like a college basketball player. However, CU is a college town that still lets 18 year olds into bars-what's that about anyway?-and part of being a college student is making some mistakes. It was a mistake, plain and simple. 

He ran from a police officer, while intoxicated, which means in that state he was in he is not going to have good judgement. He was not actively break a law at the time or hassling anyone or acting, other than running, to show lack of respect for the officer. That was mistake #2. 

I am sure the Coach and team can take care of it and this student will certainly learn his lesson.  I think we have more constructive things to do than charge 20 year olds at college who run from a police officer while intoxicated.

I wish him a learing experience and look forward to him moving forward with being responsible and his life and being a contributing forward on the team next fall.

 

 

tselliott63 wrote on April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Total agreement. He's young, was afraid of getting in trouble, and made the bad judgement call (while intoxicated) to run. Hopefully, everyone involved doesn't let this get blown out of proportion to the "crime" committed. I'm hoping this doesn't derail his chances of contributing to the team in the fall.

IMAN wrote on April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Really Dan Bloemme, being in the parking lot of a closed business at 3AM is not susupicious behavior?   That is ludicrous so please stop the nonsense.    This is a simple case of young and therefore dumb behavior.   Those of us who are older and honest will tell you that we too suffered from the same affliction.

Hopefully the young man learns from the stupid, stupid move of running from a police officer.  That has ended in tragedy before. 

I have met the young man's father, and although Darrius is 6'8/9 his Father is no small man and I have a feeling young Darrius is going to have a case of foot-in-A$$ disease when Dad comes to see him.

Dan Bloeme wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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No seriously Iman, walking across a parking lot is not suspicious, even at 3am. Have done so many times myself and have never ever been stopped. Police were looking for trouble here and seized upon this situation. No criminal acts whatsoever had been observed before they intervened. At most, they could have cruised while observing from a fall back position to verify the students were merely walking home instead of forcing a confrontation and ensuing resistance.

npkbob wrote on April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

"They appeared to be acting suspiciously," said Acree.

That describes a lot of people.  Do they try to stop everyone, just for "appearing" to act suspiciously?  Check out the crowd at Memorial Stadium some fall Saturday.

As much as I disrespect her, maybe the Urbana mayor should loan her human rights commission to the law enforcement crowd at the flagship university of our great state.

Chief Acree must be hiring Iowa grads to staff his force.

On the other hand, after chasing for three blocks and tackling the perp, maybe Coach Beckman should see if that officer has any eligibility left.

billie wrote on April 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

If he had stopped as the officer ordered, he would've gotten at most a ticket for underage drinking.  Running away from the police and having to be tackled is a little more serious.

Boomer64g wrote on April 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I think the officers need to be looking for people driving intoxicated, not chasing students who appear to be "acting suspicious". You could arrest a third of the campus for walking around intoxicated. At least he's not driving. I am not saying what he did was right, but there are much worse things going on. He is a good kid from a good family. By the way, I am ex-law enforcement, so I kinda understand the acting suspiciously thing, but he was harmless. Just a college kid, doing what many of them do every night. If he had not run, they probably would have let him slide. .

And please stop with the racial profiling crap. If it were your business they were standing outside of at 300AM, would you expect the officers to at least go ask what's up? I would..

sweet caroline wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Oh, waaaaahhhh, Dan Bloeme.  Stop sucking your thumb and spreading bullcrap.  You have no proof that this arrest was racial profiling. 

RPeterE wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

What evidence if any do you have that there was no racial profiling? Yeah thought so. I understand no one likes the race card being thrown out there but at least admit it was possible. Have an open mind.

Beem wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

A couple points. Rob, I don't see anywhere in the article that says the cops cars were running, but maybe I missed it.

If the cops asked Paul and his friend to stop because the cops were suspicious of illegal activity, they were justified in doing that. And, their suspicions proved correct as Paul was underage and drunk, which is an illegal activity.

You would think having a father in the business would make him a little smarter, but apparently not.

I'm sure coach Groce can't be happy.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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I'll double down on the engines running if you care to make it interesting.

 

Another point: the closest U of I property is how far from this area?  The Oak Streek Book Depository, perhaps?  Why were the campus police in the area?

GoIllini777 wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

I am stunned by the number of people who think that a) walking around at 3 a.m. is a suspicious activity simply because it's at night or that b) cutting across a parking lot on foot, especially in the campus area, is a suspicious activity.  Neither one is inherently suspicious.

There may be more information about what made him look "suspicious." Maybe he was staggering around with a red plastic cup in his hand.  Who knows?  I doubt it, though.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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Correct. It's a perfectly reasonable time to be walking.

 

Considering the parking lot is one block from Darius's apartment, and directly on the path heading toward/returning from Merry-Ann's.Diner, it's EXACTLY where I'd expect to see a college kid walking at 3 am. 

 

 

 

RPeterE wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

The UI officers merely spotted two men walking across the parking lot, who then appear to consciously walk around them as to not run into them. That's against the law? Just walking across a parking lot to save time like all of us have done, even their walking out of the direct path of police. Still not a crime but it behooved the bored police to try to stop him and then run him down like a criminal and tackle him. Until police tackled him they had not observed or witnessed any crime, just a normal tendency by students (especially black students) to stay clear of the police, who are justifiably feared for exactly this kind of overreaction. I'm a late person and take a walk at 2, 3, even 4 am before bed to relax myself and make it easier to sleep. If police were going to stop me because in their minds my walking looked suspicious to them, I would not be happy with that and would feel harrassed and my freedom violated to some degree. That kind of oppressive stuff happens in police states.

dmlawyer wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Seems like Champaign-Urbana is closer to the Mason Dixon line than Western Michigan University for a black man.

No wonder high profile black recruits from the Chicago area avoid the school like the plague.

If I were a recruiter at a rival college, this story is plastered all over Facebook/Twitter just to remind recruits and their parents what kind of mindset exists in Champaign-Urbana where a black young man is tackled for walking in the streets.

And when/if this young man erupts for 20 points per game, that racist officer will be the first to ask for an autograph.

thesimpleman wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

who cares if he gets 50 points a game he was wrong wrong wrong.

to rob you think he was maybe walking from marry anns in downtown? lol

as for the campus police check it out they have as much jurisdiction as the state. that how and why they can back up the champaign and urbana police.

people are too quick to make comments please please try to be a cop for one day.

can you ?

Let them keep our streets safe.

thank you all police

 

 

ptevonian wrote on April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

He may or may not have been acting suspiciously -- none of us know anything about what he was actually doing.  Just walking?  Peeking in windows?  Exchanging something with someone while looking over his shoulder?  Watching the stars?  Who knows?  We also don't know if he was facing towards or away from the officers, or if they had any way to determine his race.  So really, nobody can say if it was or was not racially motivated, or if the police were or were not justified in asking them to stop and talk. 

All we really know is that the police saw two men, out at 3am -- which is at least interesting, if not suspicious -- and felt they had reason to talk to them.  When they tried, the men ran.  If the police hadn't given chase, and then later we discovered the business had been burglarized, or someone had been beaten up, people would call for the officer's badges for not pursuing a "suspicious" character.

Taking sides or labelling this incident, at this point, with almost no real information is at best premature.

Squirrel wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Just out of curiousity, what are the UI police doing over in that part of town? I thought the UI force was for "campus" while the Urbana and Champaign forces policed their respective communities. So if the Gazette has this right there were not one but two UI patrol cars in Champaign idling in the wee dark hours of the morning. Acting kind of suspicious one might say. Guess there are no suspicious people on the campus so they have to go find some.

Seriously, would they have been happier if the kid had tried to drive home on the streets? And where was this youth getting served? Maybe the suspicious activity search could start there.

Personally I'm trying to think how not to look suspicious at that hour of the morning.

 

 

 

thesimpleman wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

here is my 2 cents ye 3 am in a parking lot of a closed business in a not so good part of campus right? the police who are doing their job want to question them. Happens to me when i am walking home at 3 AM. HE RUNS why ohh why do you ever run from the police unless you are doing something wrong?

So facts he is underage drunk in a parking lot of a closed business and runs from the police took them three blocks to catch him.

Next time the police should do what exectly?

Both a class a misdemeanor. WOuld this even be in the paper if they were not a basketball player?

Next time when the police see two people walking through a parking lot of a closed busniess at 3 am what do what them to do?

They could of been trying to break in? who knows.They were doing their job so quit complaining and let them do their job.

and never run from them.

 

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm
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The "parking lot" is an alley that runs north to south from Green Street to Springfield. It's a very common pathway.

thesimpleman wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

you are correct it is a very common pathway when was the last time you used it? At 3 am

maybe if you looked their is a nice homeless campsite on the tracks as well. next to this parking lot bottem line he ran fromthe police what he did was wrong.

 

 

ptevonian wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Well, plenty of innocent people have been mistreated by police -- not most, but too many.  And plenty of black kids, especially, have been mistreated by police.  So being afraid that you might be mistreated by police is not so hard to fathom, even if you are in fact doing nothing really wrong.  Thus the urge to consider running.

That being said, if he weren't already drunk, and was thinking clearly, maybe he wouldn't have run.  But the die was cast when he decided, as an underage individual,  to drink "a lot" and then go out walking at 3am.  That put him into a position to have one more decision -- to run -- result in a bad outcome.

As many coaches, and parents, have said before:  Just don't put yourself in a position for those things to happen.

 

OKOMIS wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

 


Other than being black, how do you “appear” to be suspicious??? Shouldn’t the police officer be a little more specific… that’s like saying someone “appears” to be a child predator?? What does that mean??

ptevonian wrote on April 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I think that is what Court is for -- for those details to be presented, and examined, and evaluated by (hopefully) rational citizens, rather than discussed by partially informed and most likely biased message boards respondants.

Bwp 5P wrote on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Geez.....kid makes mistake.......gets drunk.......knows Coach AND Dad will kick his butt if he's caught! Yep....plenty of reason to run. Us older folks.......NON- Athletes on scholarship at a D1 school..........maybe we don't run.

Profiling? Probably not. For all we know......the officers may have been African-American (is that politically correct?)

I agree with the one poster.......bothers me more that the Cop was able to run him down!

My bet is coach works HARD on his conditioning..over and over and over and over!

RPeterE wrote on April 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

No, you can't ever win running from the police, talking back to them, looking at them cross-eyed or resisting. Even if they are abusive and/or acting illegally or corrupt. They will tackle you to the ground, hit you with blows, put their knee in your back and handcuff you before you can ever say I give up, and then charge you with umpteen felonies about resisting them. No, it is usually always best to obey them unless you want them to make more trouble for you. Darius probably thought he could safely make it home 2 blocks away and made bad decision. While I understand how it usually goes down, I still don't agree he did anything to be accosted by the police in the first place. Unless they observed him breaking the law, they should have left him alone. Walking across a parking lot or through an alley is not a crime. There is no doubt the police reaction here was both heavy-handed and unnecessary. What's more disconcerting, some 'citizens' have no problem with this.

dmlawyer wrote on April 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The time of the Otto Kerner Commission report from 1968 has shown little change...."“Our Nation Is Moving Toward Two Societies, One Black, One White—Separate and Unequal"

 

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6545/

OKOMIS wrote on April 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

 


Crazy isn’t it??? An assistant coach tells EVERYONE he see’s Jerry Sandusky molesting a little boy in the team locker room… I guess that wasn’t suspicious.. nothing happen for years…. Paul walks thru a parking lot and “APPEARS” suspicious…. Go figure!!!!


 

helping wrote on April 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, police need "probable cause" to stop someone to investigate criminal activity.  Walking across a parking lot does NOT create "probable cause" regardless of the time of day.

imdball wrote on April 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Another fine example of cracker-jack police officers keeping us safe.  Reminds me of Chicago police writing parking tickets at midnight while drugs are being sold on every other street corner in the hood and bullets and are flying through windows into innocent peoples homes.  If this is all there is for them to do at the U of I maybe a force reduction is in order.

Jpat78 wrote on April 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

White, black, who cares.  Nothing good comes at 3 am.  That said, I'll let the facts come out but kids are kids. This seems to be nothing more, nothing less.  

Trailmom wrote on April 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

How many of you are police officers who have undergone months,years of training? Not many from the sounds of it.

And one of the posters indicated the kid's dad is a police officer. Surely at some point his father mentioned, "don't run from the police".

Sure he's a kid, and sure he made a mistake.  That doesn't mean he isn't held accountable for the mistake.

 

  

use er name wrote on April 23, 2014 at 12:04 am

Suspicion of Criminal Trespass to Railroad Property is a good start. The real question is how does an elite basketball player get outrun and tackled...?

rsp wrote on April 23, 2014 at 6:04 am

Is it really illegal to cross the railroad tracks? Because they are all over town. There are a few places were people would be trapped.

Roanrider wrote on April 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

I hate to tell you, ROB...and the rest of you...but you CAN be detained AND questioned by the police. Someone fitting your description could have committed a crime a block away. You do NOT have the right to run from the police. If anyone would like to know the laws regarding what police officers do and do not have the right to do and what citizens do and do not have the right to do when dealing with police officers, there is a WONDERFUL tool known as "Google" that will assist you with finding the laws and you may then read for yourself exactly what they are before opening your mouth and making yourself look like a complete idiot.

Mr Dreamy wrote on April 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Roanrider, Rob doesn't need my defense but, he uses something better than Google. He uses his law school education. Rob is a lawyer. He knows "search and seizure" law. He knows how the 4th Amendment, and the 5th and 6th, too, as they pertain to criminal law, operate in this situation. 

But Google is fun for looking up the Kardashians. 

Roanrider wrote on April 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

It's also fun for looking up Rob, and how he "uses" his law school "education."

emsed1 wrote on April 24, 2014 at 10:04 am

I will take the bait on "global warming".

Having worked in public safety for more than 20 years I can tell you that (for better or worse) you can't simply "turn off" the engine and talk.  Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances... all have incredibly high electical loads.  In fact, many have a kill switch that disconnects the battery completely when stopped at a station.  

The point is that turning off the ignition cuts off access to radios, computers, lights, sirens, GPS...  All that stuff will run a battery down in minutes if left on.  

Of course you probably never needed one of these emergency vehicles before so the ability to respond to emergencies is not a high priority for you.

I would recommend that anyone who wants details of the arrest go down to the little reading room at the court house.  You can make copies of the full report and salivate with anticipation based on whichever side of the conspiracy tickles your fancy.

Besides - those police cars emitting airborne particulates have cooled the southern hemisphere so much that Antarctic sea and land ice is growing at all time record speed.  So far in 2014 there have been more than 30 all time record expansions of ice (1.4 million square km above average so far) and global sea ice averages are setting records as well.  Even the melting of the Arctic ice (you know... damn summer heat..) has leveled off and is still within normal limits for the period since 1981.

Seriously?  Are we arguing climate change as a cause for this young man's unfortunate encounter with law enforcement?  

Local Yocal wrote on April 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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dmlawyer makes an excellent long-term point, because when you add up all the events of the last 10-15 years, it's becoming increasingly clear that living while black in Champaign is going to lead toward a confrontation with our local police. You are suspicious walking while black and we have another unequal application of the laws once again.  

Coaches Groce and Beckman are going to find alot of doors slammed in their faces to the blue chippers, who might say, "Live in Champaign for four years? No thanks."

The other little unpleasant fact not found in the brochures, is that campus bars, in order to be the "in-place-to-be" attract U of I athletes to their establishments by offering free, open tabs to the players. That is how the underage Jamar Smith, hailing from a church family, became the alcoholic he confessed to be after attending the U of I a short while (and needing to plea his car wreck down to the minimal sentence.) Life on campus is not conducive toward health, a sound degree with full employment potential, and prejudice abounds off the court and field for college athletes.

It's kinda' interesting too that the relationship with the police remains adversarial and that no actual people skills and problem solving skills are expected from our officers. Taking everything at face value here, we'll assume officers had a reasonable suspicion to check out the pair. (That's not a probable cause to search and arrest, but reasonable suspicion does allow for a Terry Stop.) So officers chase down the two lads, let's say a tackle is made (lucky for Paul the technique used on Edgar Holts, Brian Chesely, or Brandon Ward was not deployed) and in the course of subsequent conversation (investigation), it is learned: 1) they are not burglars 1a) they possess no weapons 2) they live nearby 2a) not operating a vehicle 3) they are drunk as skunks.

Why is there no expectation that the officers should merely assist Mr. Paul home to sleep it off, and if it remains a concern about his alcohol intake, report it to Coach G. and the U of I disciplinary office? Why make it a criminal prosecution and a public trial/media circus?

Evading the police, sadly, has become a reasonable and understandable option for citizens to take, especially for African Americans. If people could trust that officers were there to serve and protect, and not there to hunt and arrest, or worse, create a physical confrontation to show who's boss, maybe people would be more willing to cooperate with officers knowing they are there to protect the nearby properties, make sure the pedestrians are okay, and are willing to assist in their impairment toward getting home safely. Instead, it always has to be  paramilitary operatives serving the Dragon Lady from On High who will extract the maximum amount of money and control for the next several years (while making sure she garners favorable press coverage from personal friend Mary Schenk), also making sure the private bar gets a cut, the counseling business gets a cut, and the court gets a cut of the dough. Mr. Paul's parents will shudder as to why they ever sent their son to Champaign County....unless the U of I's Tommy Betz charges zero and "arrangements" for an unheard-of lenient sentence are made to assure future recruits.     

Decide your alcohol policy. If we are going to let the kids drink, let 'em drink, and prepare accordingly, (the Sgt. Scott Friedlein Doctrine) or raise it to 21 and enforce like hell, and fill the jails and court dockets by the thousands trying to stop college kids from drinking alcohol. (the 1932 Prohibition Doctrine) Good luck with the latter.

Beem wrote on April 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Local Yocal, I hate to shoot a hole through your theory, but if C-U is such a bad place for young black men, why did the Pauls choose to send a second son here?

Local Yocal wrote on April 25, 2014 at 10:04 am
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The consideration was the Paul Family's likely reaction to the court costs, fines, counseling fees, probation costs, ankle bracelet if applied,  and attorney fees after this case is processed through Julia's wagging morality finger.

As for the conditions for black men in Champaign County, they can speak for themselves, though often don't on this forum. Champaign County Board member Lloyd Carter once put it this way at a recent county board meeting in 2012: Recalling why he had to see his eldest son move away from here, Carter, through near tears said, "The only thing Champaign County has for black men is unemployment and a jail cell."
His words, not mine.

j.dexter wrote on April 26, 2014 at 9:04 pm

That is just false. Government officials only need reasonable suspicion to stop individuals and investigate crime. See Terry v. Ohio. It is a far lower burden of proof than probable cause. It is examined under the standard of the reasonable officer which is a reasonable police officer with the same experience and training. It is further described as not merely a hunch, but not much more. The officer needs only articulate a suspicion that is reasonable given their experience and training that a crime has, is, or is going to occur to justify a stop. Knowledge is power!

rleebaker wrote on April 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

jdexter; don't introduce facts into this conversation. The "low information" people vastly outnumber anyone who thinks!

rleebaker wrote on April 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

jdexter; don't introduce facts into this conversation. The "low information" people vastly outnumber anyone who thinks!

rleebaker wrote on April 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

Yes it is illegal to cross the railroad tracks on foot except at crosswalks.

krfink wrote on April 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm

If all the police can say as the "evidence" of their reason to stop Paul is that he was acting "suspiciously", then they give no reason for stopping him.  That reason says nothing about what Paul was actually doing that created the alleged suspicion.  That reason only reflects the state of mind of the police officers, and its not a good reflection.  What was Paul actually doing to cause the officers to have a state of mind of "suspicion"?   Unless that question is answered adequately, then the police officers are giving no real explanation for stopping Paul, and the police officers' conduct, not Paul's conduct, begins to look "suspicious."   Would arresting someone for no valid reason be acting "suspiciously"?  Perhaps another police officer ought to arrest the suspiciously-acting police officers and charge them with false arrest.