Student Newsroom

Protesters demand Parkland College fire former police chief


Protesters walk along the main building at Parkland College to demand the firing of former Champaign police chief RT Finney. Finney was involved in the police killing of a Black 15-year-old, Kiwane Carrington, by a different officer. Madison Holcomb

Protestors gathered at Parkland College April 21 to demand the firing of a former Champaign police chief from his teaching position.

Former police chief R.T. Finney has been teaching classes about community policing since the fall of last year.Finney was involved in a shooting that led to the 2009 killing by a different officer of Kiwane Carrington, a Black 15-year-old.

Sarah Lin is a member of the C-U Party for Socialism and Liberation, which organized the event. 

“Whatever he’s teaching in that class, he should not be doing it,” Lin said. “He has oppressed Black people in our community for far too long.

“He should not be in an educational institution.”

Alex Horton, a protester and speaker at the rally.

Photo Credit: Madison Holcomb

Local resident Alex Horton, who spoke at the protest, said that Finney is not qualified to teach classes on community policing.

“If you are hiring someone to teach in a profession they worked in, they should have a demonstrated success in that field. Finney does not have that.

“Unless Parkland is okay with standing by abusive police practices, Finney must be fired.” 

Austin Hoffman, a local resident, agreed. 

“I’m just not going to let it stand for killer cops and cops that have played a role in oppressing the Black community here to have viable employment at an institution of higher learning,” Hoffman said. “I just think that’s unacceptable.” 

Protesters at the event said Parkland should fire Finney immediately.

In a statement, Parkland officials said they are aware of the complaints and welcome any input that may improve the institution.

Finney did not respond to requests for comment.