Champaign Officer Says Shooting Occurred When He Slipped During Foot-Chase
A Champaign police officer remains on paid investigative leave, following his involvement in a shooting incident now under investigation. According to the officer, his gun went off accidentally when his foot slipped while chasing a suspect running from a traffic stop.
According to a Champaign Police news release issued Tuesday, 22-year-old Dehari Banks fled from a traffic stop initiated by Officer James Hobson in the 400 Block of East Washington Street on Sunday night. Hobson chased Banks, first in his squad car and then on foot. The two ended up about four blocks away in a fenced-in area in the 300 Block of N. Fourth Street. There, Hobson says he came to a running stop, at which time his foot slipped on the ground, causing his gun to go off. Banks, who was unarmed, was hit in the shoulder, and taken to an area hospital with a non-life-threatening injury. He remained hospitalized at midday Tuesday, and has not been charged.
Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb says his department understands the questions raised by any officer-involved shooting. He says there will be more updates as a multi-jurisdictional investigation continues.
"We ask for our community's continued patience as the investigators work to complete the investigation", said Cobb.
Illinois State Police are the lead agency in the Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team. Their findings will be submitted to the Champaign County State's Attorney's Office for further review.