Illinois Public Media News


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - November 25, 2014

Activists Stage Ferguson Sympathy Rally In Urbana

By Hannah Meisel

Activists rally outside the Champaign County Courthouse Tuesday in solidarity with those in Ferguson, Missouri.

Activists in Champaign-Urbana rallied Tuesday in solidarity with those in Ferguson, Missouri. Citizens see parallels between the two areas, with regard to the relationship between law enforcement and the black community.

It's been five years since 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington was shot and killed by a Champaign Police Officer on a Friday afternoon in October.

The teen's death was eventually ruled anaccident, but to longtime area residents, looking at Ferguson is like looking into a mirror--another black teen dead by the gun of a white officer.

Monday's decision by a grand jury to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson hits home for Champaign resident Martel Miller. Miller's son, Calvin, was arrested by Champaign Police for erratic driving three years ago. Miller admits his son was in the wrong, but says police used excessive force on him.

"The first time I ever saw Calvin without a smile was the day I picked him up from jail," he said. "He had a black eye, a hurt ankle, and he told me, 'Daddy, they beat me for nothing. I did do wrong, but I did everything they told me to do, and they handcuffed me and they beat me.'"

Miller was one of the 60 gathered outside the Champaign County Courthouse in a solidarity rally Tuesday, that eventually blocked off traffic for one city block.

It was a far calmer scene in Urbana than protests that turned to riots in Ferguson Monday. But rally leader Gus Wood, president of the U of I's Graduate Employees Organization, says he sympathizes with those around Ferguson whose tempers have boiled over.

"It was a planned rebellion against an unjustice of the murder of a member of their community," he said. "That's why these people are so angry that  they're disillusioned that they believed in a system that would take away something that they thought would happen."

Wood is referring to the decision a grand jury came to Monday.

The ralliers also chanted for change within the Champaign and Urbana police departments, and urged the county to not build another jail in the area.

Tags: ferguson


Illinois Public Radio - Illinois Public Media News - October 15, 2014

Former President Carter Brings Human Rights Mission to Illinois

By Rachel Otwell

Former president Jimmy Carter made a stop in Jacksonville Tuesday and spoke to over 2,000 people about his quest for peace and human rights. He spoke in a crowded gymnasium at Illinois College.


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - September 23, 2014

Salaita Supporters Say Would-Be Professor’s Case Is Far From Over

By Hannah Meisel

Supporters of Steven Salaita hold signs and chant outside the Academic Senate meeting on Monday.

Supporters of a would-be University of Illinois professor say they're not going to stop protesting a week and a half after the Board of Trustees voted to not hire Steven Salaita. A few dozen of the professor's allies on campus showed up to rally and speak at an Academic Senate meeting Monday.

Categories: Education, Human Rights

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 01, 2014

Americans Detained In North Korea Call For US Help

By The Associated Press

North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and --- watched by officials as they spoke --- called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom.  




NPR - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2014

Ferguson Police Release Name Of Officer Who Shot Michael Brown

By Bill Chappell

Capt. Ron Johnson with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last Saturday is Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who has no disciplinary actions on his record with the department.



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