A dash cam video showing an Illinois cop pepper spraying a non-resistant man could spark a state investigation against the Champaign Police Department.
The video, which was anonymously posted to Youtube Sunday but recorded last June, shows a cop detaining a man under questionable circumstances.
The man had been walking on a sidewalk populated with pedestrians when the cop pulled up and ordered him to step up to his car.
The man kept walking which prompted the cop to chase after him and bring him towards the hood of the squad car.
The man was not physically resisting but he was verbally questioning why he was being detained.
Within ten seconds, he was pepper sprayed.
Another officer runs up and helps the first officer – who is busy pepper spraying towards the crowd of onlookers.
“I hope you’re recording this shit,” the man says as he is led away.
The man’s crime: jaywalking.
He was also charged with resisting arrest but that was dropped in court.
The incident begins shortly before the 11-minute mark in the 53-minute video.
At 13:28, the cop can be heard telling another cop that the man and his group stepped into oncoming traffic and blocked traffic, but the video doesn’t support his claims.
Beginning at 14:30, the cop can be heard trying to get the identification of the man, who is already sitting handcuffed in the back of the car.
But the man keeps asking for another officer by name, obviously somebody he trusted because this cop was not coming across very trustworthy.
At 15:40, the camera switches to another angle showing the handcuffed man in the back of the squad car.
The officer opens the door, which prompts the handcuffed man to say, “I’m not letting you touch me” and asking once again for the officer he knows.
“Take me to jail,” the man pleads.
The cop then pounces on him, knocking them both of them out of frame.
“He just tried to choke me in the back of the car,” the man yells.
The man sounds like he is saying he is going to “tell my mom” but he’s not coming across like a whiny mama’s boy. Just as a pissed off citizen who was unjustly harassed and attacked.
Perhaps his mother is the cop he is asking for. Perhaps I misunderstood the mom part and he is asking for somebody else.
But it is clear he knows his rights and that is what is pissing off the cop.
The man’s attorney claims he doesn’t know who posted the video online and the name of the officer has still not been made public.
According to Illinois Public Radio:
Police department personnel investigated the case, and Chief R.T. Finney issued a finding that the officer’s actions regarding ‘use of force’ were within police and training standards. Meanwhile, Champaign City Manager Steve Carter said a possible investigation of the arrest by state police could start later this week.
“These are very difficult circumstances, and we’ll want to take a look at what’s the right thing to come out of this for both of those,” Carter said Sunday before the video was leaked. “So, the individual case needs to be resolved for sure. Wherever that leads us is where we need to go. ”
Champaign Mayor Don Gerard said he is ‘gravely disappointed’ the police video was posted online, saying it is counteractive to anything the city is trying to achieve in terms of police-community relations. The mayor added that he is ‘very confident’ that state police will investigate the June 5 arrest.
“I hoping that despite (the video being released) that whatever actions the city and the state’s attorney take aren’t compromised,” Gerard said.
We shouldn’t be surprised that the Champaign Police Department “investigated” the incident and determined the cop did nothing wrong.
After all, pepper spraying a man for questioning why he is being detained is common police protocal, even if it is not lawful. And so is choking a handcuffed man in the back of the car who just won’t stop proclaiming his innocence.
And we shouldn’t expect much from the possible investigation by Illinois State Police. Cops will almost always protect their own.
And we shouldn’t even be surprised that Champaign Mayor Don Gerard is “gravely disappointed” that somebody would have the gall to post the video online – no matter how cool he was before he took office.
All we’re left with is the court of public opinion, which is why the video needed to be posted online.
An Illinois radio station, The Show 1045, posted edited the video to include the important segments at the very beginning.
The station also posted a petition demanding the creation of a citizen’s review board because this is not an isolated issue with the Champaign Police Department.
I’m not a community member, but I signed the petition anyway, even though my experience with citizen review boards has been subpar. But any citizen oversight is better than no citizen oversight.
To Whom It May Concern,
After reviewing the video from the recent Champaign Police Officer pepper spray and choking incident, I was appalled with the conduct of the Police Officer. His actions sully the good name of all the hard working Police Officers across our great nation. To permit officers to act without impunity is a dangerous path and it has dire consequences for the community much less the trust that they instill in local law enforcement.
After the severe beating of Calvin Miller, murder of Kiwane Carrington and many other situations within the Champaign County community, it is clear that there is a systematic problem and that this is not the result of a singular ‘rogue’ officer. As such, we ask that you implement a Citizen’s Review Board and hold these officers accountable for eggregious actions such as illustrated in this video.
We The People
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