FBI Finds No Criminal Civil Rights Violations in Arrest

December 05, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reviewed a June 5 arrest by Champaign police. The agency has concluded that no civil rights violations occurred.

The case involves a college-age African American male who was arrested for jaywalking and resisting arrest. Video from a squad car's dash board camera shows an officer pepper spraying and grabbing the young man by the neck.

The city asked for a federal investigation into the arrest after the Champaign Police Department and the Illinois State Police concluded that the arresting officer followed protocol. After studying the case, the F.B.I. said "from a federal civil rights perspective, this review did not reveal any federal criminal civil rights violations."

Champaign City officials say they intend to ask the city council to hire an independent firm to investigate the matter further.

"There will be an additional independent firm selected to complete a thorough investigation of the incident for the appeal of the citizen complaint," according to a statement released by the city.

Patricia Avery, who is the president of the Champaign County NAACP, said she felt that the FBI should have taken more time to review the case before reaching its conclusion.

"It is what it is according to them, but I think many people that have viewed that videotape will still be having questions in their mind as I do of how that decision was made in such a hurry," Avery said.

Meanwhile, a public forum is planned on Thursday evening at the city building with the four candidates being considered to replace R.T. Finney, whose retirement as police chief becomes official in January.

Watch the police footage from the June 5 arrest:


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Story source: WILL