CUCPJ Makes Proposals to Champaign Police Union Contract in Wake of Kiwane Carrington Killing

Tuesday night, April 20, 2010, Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice presented three proposals for changes to the Champaign police union contract, set to expire on June 1, 2010 and currently under negotiation. Over a dozen organizations endorse the proposals, including the NAACP, Ministerial Alliance, and Planner's Network.

 

In light of recent incidents involving Champaign Police and members of the Champaign community and in the interest of promoting a safer, more transparent relationship between the police and community in the city of Champaign, the Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice (CUCPJ) submits proposals for amending three aspects of the Champaign Police Department’s employment contract with the city of Champaign: the residency requirement, the drug testing policy, and access to personnel files.

I.    Residency Requirement
CUCPJ proposes that the current language in the CPD contract under Article 27.1 “Residency Requirement” be amended to read: “All officers covered by this agreement shall be actual residents of the City of Champaign.” Prior to 1970 all officers employed by the Champaign Police Department were required to reside within the city limits. In the aftermath of school integration that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, the predominantly white police force lobbied to change this policy so that their children would not be forced to attend schools in a post-integration climate. It seems that while many white police officers were willing to perform their law enforcement duties in a racially diverse community they were not willing to live and participate in it as equals. The current Champaign police contract reflects these values as police officers in Champaign are not required to reside within the city they are charged to serve and protect. CUCPJ believes the city should reinstate the residency requirement because it will ensure that officers are invested in the local community, that our financial investment in police salaries is returned through tax revenue, and that skilled employment opportunities are opened up to local people. In addition, reinstating the residency requirement will help change the culture of the Champaign Police Department and improve our chances of recruiting a racially diverse workforce.

II.    Drug Testing Policy
CUCPJ proposes that the language in Article 34 of the CPD contract, “Drug Testing,” be bolstered so that police officers shall be subject to alcohol and drug testing in the following circumstances: 1) where facts or circumstances are sufficient to reasonable suspicion that a member of the Department is illegally using drugs; 2) when a police officer is directly involved in an incident that results in death or great bodily harm or if the officer has fired his/her weapon on duty outside of a training situation; 3) when the probationary period for a police officer on probation is coming to an end, passing out of probation will be contingent on passing a drug test; and 4) when a police officer is returning from a leave of absence that exceeds 90 days, reinstatement will be contingent on passing a drug test. These amendments all have precedent in a variety of police contracts in other cities across Illinois and the nation and are much needed in the city of Champaign in light of recent incidents of drug and alcohol abuse among local police officers. CUCPJ believes these amendments to the drug testing policy will benefit the police force and the Champaign community because it will enhance the community’s trust in the integrity and judgment of its police force and contribute to a revitalization of community relations between police and the public.

III.    Access to Complaints
CUCPJ proposes that the current language in the CPD contract under Article 20.2, 20.3, and 20.4 regarding Personnel Files be amended to reflect the recent July 20, 2009 ruling by the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court in Gekas v. Williamson so that 1) the general public be authorized to review the complaints against an officer; 2) all citizen complaints whether founded or unfounded be placed in an officer’s personnel file and be accessible by the public; and 3) citizen complaints, whether founded or unfounded, shall not be removed from the officer’s employee file. CUCPJ believes that these amendments will help ensure that the public is allowed access to all of the documents that it is legally entitled to. In addition, these changes will contribute to improved police-community relations and help assuage the perceived community concern that the Champaign Police Department is unaccountable and lacks transparency. CUCPJ also believes that the proposed amendments will promote enhanced public safety, allowing for more successful tracking of abuse and mistreatment patterns within the police force.

Now-   how much are you

Now-   how much are you willing to pay the officers to give up what you want them to have?  Residency?   How about 50k for relocation expenses per officer.  Drug testing?  How about a 15 percent raise for 4 yrs plus 500.00 each time that they do a drug test.   You see, what you have asked for is nice, but with residency, you havent figured out, that both City and STATE law say you cant force this on the officers. It was the CITY that gave them the right and the STATE said you cant take it away from them.   Why are you picking only on the officers?  How about the FF who live north of Chicago?   When we had the big fire a year ago, they couldnt respond as they were over three hours away.   Plow drivers?   IF there is a big snow, and they cant get here, who plows the street.

 

Either you call for EVERYONE to live in the City or you dont.   Once again,  you show your anti police bias every time you guys talk.   Applications are being accepted.  Take the test.  

 

Good luck with that.  

Makes You Wonder

How about a 15 percent raise for 4 yrs plus 500.00 each time that they do a drug test.

So exactly how much will the public be expected to pay to get a police force that is willing to obey the law?

This sort of attitude only reinforces the belief that there's one set of laws for the public...and either another set of laws or no law at all that governs the police.

They are "willing to obey the

They are "willing to obey the law"   The law states that Cities cannot MAKE them give up residency.   How much are you willing to pay to  make them give it up?

Literacy Test?

This response to my comment demonstrates that a literacy test might be in order, also.

I said nothing about residency.

Howver, I think a flippant comment about drug testing, when the police are part of a system that imposes this on citizens, demonstrates that the police feel they are above the law they impose on others.

That's a problem.

In fact, it's just one more case of hypocrisy hiding behind the shield of the badge.

I'm confused...

when the police are part of a system that imposes this on citizens

Imposes what on citizens?  Please explain how police impose mandatory drug testing on citizens?

$20k vests

Council also ok'd $20,000 for 30 bullet proof vests last night.

So what are you saying?  You

So what are you saying?  You dont want the officers protected?

Ok-   How much you willing to

Ok-

 

How much you willing to spend to have the officers have mandatory drug testing?  Quote me a number.  Its not going to be free.

This response to my comment

This response to my comment demonstrates that a literacy test might be in order, also.

I said nothing about residency.

Howver, I think a flippant comment about drug testing, when the police are part of a system that imposes this on citizens, demonstrates that the police feel they are above the law they impose on others.

That's a problem.

In fact, it's just one more case of hypocrisy hiding behind the shield of the badge.

Uh...........what law requires police officers to take drug tests?  There is a contract that states when they are given, but there is "no law" that I am aware of that requires officers to give up their 4th amendment rights, nor anyone else.  Involved in a accident in which someone is injured?  yes you may be required under 625-5-11501.7 to submit to a alcohol and drug test pending the fact that there is no basis for a DUI arrest, however, you do so because a) you drove on the roadways in Illinois  b) you caused an accident in which someone is injured.
Now./.. I will wait...........cite the law that requires police officers to do mandatory drug testing in the State of Illinois.    Take your time.  I will check back in a few hours to await your response.

Fire Finney Now.

Fire Finney Now.

Excuse me!!!

I understand everyones thoughts but i wasnt all his fault! He was doing drugs and tried to escape and his gun accidently went off. Everyone need to understand the story from both sides. Not just one you make up. Cops are humans and humans make mistakes. OKay?? Get the story right or dont even bother posting shit that isnt true..!

.....

WHy are you cussing this isnt funn situation.

uhmm..

Im sorry but they need to stop blaming the cops for the sitiation.!! Its not there fault. If the dude wouldnt have done drugs athen this would have never happend.

The kid was in the wrong

Yes this post will piss off a lot of people in Champaign but face it, there would be no death If the two teenagers had not been trying to get into the house, then there would have been no phone call to police.Or do you want to blame the neighbor who made the call to the police. The property owner has stated that even though the kids were allowed in the home, THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED IN When no is home. That is why the doors/windows were locked. Also, had the teenagers listened to the police and gotten on the ground instead of resisting, there would not be a dead kid, and no community up in arms about it. To the activists who want to ignore the facts of the case, I am saddened that a teenager is dead, but damn it, when WE tell our kids to listen to the police in the first place, they and the police will be safer. Everyone needs to quit blaming the cops or maybe ALL of the community activists need to do ride-alongs in a patrol car to see the community in a different aspect. Nah, that would be too easy.

he wouldn't be dead if Norbits hadn't shot him

None of this would have happened if Norbits knew how to handle a gun.

They literally had to bury his mistake.

Are they gonna give him his gun back after thirty days?

"Everyone needs to quit blaming the cops..."

We should be glad that so few professions tend to blame all their F-ups on those they are being paid very well to act professionally. Maybe we should expand the idea, because life is just so inconvenient when you're expected to behave responsibly.

Bus drivers? Just run right over people, opps, no big deal, their fault for being in the way.

Aircraft pilots? No sweat, as long as THEY can walk away from a landing, it's all good even if the passengers don't make it.

Doctor? Did I leave that sponge in there or not? Who cares, so long as I make my tee time.

Railroad engineer? Those signal lights are just optional, right?

Teacher? I don't feel like school today. I'll just stay home.

It's just one more gang, with fancier "colors," if the police aren't expected to behave responsibly. Why should anyone obey anything you say if you're just one more thug with a gun? Either you take responsibility or you are no better than the worst of the worst.

And some kids trying to get in out of the rain are nowhere the worst of the worst. The FOP's statement that Kiwane's "longstanding reckless behavior" was at fault and it's Norbits who is the victim...simply unbelievable. If you're a cop and you think someone should get the death penalty for sassing you, you really need to get a job you can handle, not make worse.

 

cold hands, shot heart

Being out in the rain isn't a crime.

Having cold hands, because it's October and it's raining, so that you put them into your pockets, well, fatal mistake. 

As to Norbits being the victim, he can put his hands in his pockets all he wants without anyone shooting him.

You are correct.  However,

You are correct.  However, going into a home your not invited in, is a crime.  The RSA  ( Ready School Astronaut) would be alive today if he complied with the officers.  BTW ever hear of a sympathetic contraction of muscles?  Might want to look into that too.

Keep Your Finger Indexed, Not in Your A**

BTW ever hear of a sympathetic contraction of muscles?

Probably a good idea to keep your finger indexed and away from the trigger of a Glock to limit the possibilities that the ways you know you might F-up don't happen.

That is if one is not being reckless.

BTW, whoever thinks such lame comments are helping the cause of finding common ground here, you are really doing the best you can right now to screw the pooch as far as public opinion. The fact that the FOP seems oblivious to the situation only convinces many people that the lack of professionalism involved goes from the bottom to the top.

I really do not think that

I really do not think that there is a large enough group of people who think that the Officer made the mistake, but rather the dead youth was the one making the mistake.

superhero

BTW ever hear of a sympathetic contraction of muscles?

Wow, Norbits must be pretty damned strong if his "sympathetic contraction of muscles" was sufficient to push his finger all the way from the spot on the barrel where it was supposed to be -- according to both CPD policy and his own training -- straight through the barrel and onto the trigger. That's quite a trick, passing your finger through metal but leaving the metal unharmed. Maybe Norbits missed his calling -- instead of a cop he should have been a superhero.

You mean like push it a

You mean like push it a quarter of an inch downward.  You really are outside your sandbox aren't you.

Sad Part Is, He Was Supposed to be the Expert

Just reading the News-Gazette today and they are finally starting to catch up with a few of the facts as they leak out to the public from the concluded investigations (but not the FBI one.) Jim Dey did it under the somewhat questioanble title "A story that doesn't get any better." Well, if my newspaper had been helping the authorities paint happy faces on things from the beginning on this, maybe that's all the more creative I could get with a headline. The N-G's approach sure helps save on the actual costs of reporters who investigate a story, versus just write up a summary of the CPD press releases.

It turns out that Norbits "is [was] the department's defensive tactics instructor."

I would think this makes Norbits the best, smartest, most careful officer in the whole of CPD to figure out what should have been a simple Q&A, but ended up going so totally wrong. Yeah, the chief and the defensive tactics instructor.

If that's the best CPD can do, then it is very scary to be on the streets of Champaign. This is true whatever the color of your skin and even if you're simply going about your business.

41 seconds.

And it started with some fool in street clothes waving his gun around and threatening some kids. For all the BS that's been slung here by the FOP or whoever they think they are, if the so-called "experts" can't keep things from going badly wrong under the circumstances, then why keep insisting that it was the responsibility of some scared and panicking kids who needed to keep cool heads, react, promptly but carefully, and de-escalate the situation, instead of two supposedly competent adult professionals?

The idea that Norbits is the victim and it's all the fault of these kids is total BS, even under the most generous interpretation of what happened. The idea that it was just an unavoidable accident is nearly as suspect. If Norbits and Finney hadn't been engaged in reckless behavior by virtue of their multiple violations of departmental policy, both kids would still be alive today, instead of just one. 

There's lots more in the N-G, some of it good, some of it just as bad as their previous coverage. Dey continues to paint concerned community members as suffering from  "Paranoia runs so deep..." Uh, Jim, people are not concerned about the killing of Kiwane because they are mentally ill, but because of the facts. And some people may misinterpret the facts, but it's clear that the N-G has it's own share of failings in its often lame and insensitive reporting, like Mr. Dey's comment today.

I do think it interesting that now the N-G has come around to publicly stating that the story they kept printing about Norbits's gun having a life and mind of its own and somehow it pulled itself is BS. Oh we've read a lot about that here, along with a bunch of eqully silly excuses from FOP-types about how it was not Norbits's fault. Is the N-G now going to get hate mail like has been coming here for around to some of the same conclusions the reporting here did a long time ago? Time will tell on that.

Some things to consider here - Sarcasm Alert!

The resident of the home, Deborah Thomas, has stated several times that Kiwane Carrington was welcomed at her home. The poster who has disputed this is grasping at straws. The young man had actually lived there at one point, and the resident said he was welcome at all times and I don't need to resort to all caps to point that out. This is something that was publicized after this tragedy occurred.

Plus, there are ways that officers can handle suspects without resorting to drawing their weapons or using tasers. It is also important to consider this is not the first 'accidental' death that Officer Norbits was involved in. The city had to write a big fat settlement check out to the family of Greg Brown, who was developmentally disabled, after being subdued by Norbits with a baton. Seriously, can anyone claim that two deaths are justifiable here? If this had been a coulple of little white kids in Cherry Hills both Finney and Norbits would have faced more severe consequences.

Yeah, there has been a lot of blaming that has gone around. First, lets blame it on the fact that some kids were smoking weed and not consider the possibility that being stoned might have slowed down their judgment and motor skills and perhaps caused a wee bit of paranoia. It wasn't that long ago that state police who encountered a suspect who was swaying, staggering, and refusing to co-operate. Yet they were able to handcuff the suspect and get her in the squad car without resorting to having their weapons out. Considering that the suspect in question happened to be former detective Lisa Staples, what if she had been armed when they arrested her? These kids weren't even armed, yet somehow two grown men felt the need to have their guns out?

Of course as it's been pointed out we can always blame poor parenting, If Chief Finney's mama had raised him right, he would have worn a proper uniform so that when he entered the backyard of Deborah Thomas the two boys would have known he was representing the police force. Call me crazy but if some dude entered the back yard of my home with a gun drawn and was in plainsclothes I would not be inclined to be particularly welcoming. Someone needs to call his parents and let them know they didn't raise their boy Finney right. While we are at it, someone should let Norbits parents know that they would have done well to have steered their son away from professions that could involve anything like batons or firearms. After all if these two men had been given the proper upbringing this tragic event would have been avoided.

As for even suggesting that officers get drug and alcohol testing, heaven forbid. After all it's a waste of time and money to expect individuals who are responsible for public health and safety to pee in a plastic cup. Goodness only think about the carbon footprints that it puts on the planet. So if a bus driver is on the job recovering from having one too many and someone gets killed, the MTD can afford to write a check out to the family. Or if the doctors and nurses at the hospital end up helping themselves to some of the morphine and a patient dies, well the hospital can find ways to cover it up. It's OK when an officer loses his gun on the way to a second job, after all someone may find it and its discovered at the scene of a crime. Mistakes happen, and we shouldn't subject these poor people to invasive tests of any kind.

As for requiring officers to actually live in Champaign it's ridiculous to assume that people will buy a home in places like Mahomet or Saint Joseph. They only have school systems that are considered to be pretty good and property values that continue to increase. Neither would there be any room for compromise in recommending that all new officers hired be required to live in the community. After all, places like Ashland Park are supposed to be real dumps and I gather that Cherry Hills can be a real shithole to live in. Nope, no incentive there.

Finally, how dare any citizen question the authority of law enforcement? We all know that the civil rights movement took care of everything, and there is no such thing as racism or unequal treatment in our society anymore. We also know that the people at IDOT, who have issued reports that identifies this community as having the highest rates of racial profiling, have been drinking the bong water, and statistics are just a silly thing anyway. I say lets do away with all of this foolishness and simply trust that our leaders, our city manager, our mayor (the good American), and our council have the best interests of everyone in the community at heart. After all, to question any of this stuff is simply unpatriotic and spoils the flavor of the tea.

"The resident of the home,

"The resident of the home, Deborah Thomas, has stated several times that Kiwane Carrington was welcomed at her home."

And also said,  more times than I can keep track of, that this only applied when she was at home.  She also said that she didn't even know who Jeshaun was.  True, she tried a really feeble lie when she was being interviewed by CUCPJ, that she didn't recognize his name because the police were saying it wrong.  This despite the obvious fact that she had heard her son say it correctly several times.  CUCPJ will buy anything as long as it makes the police look bad.

"Plus, there are ways that officers can handle suspects without resorting to drawing their weapons or using tasers. "

Sure there are.  IF THEY KNOW the suspects are unarmed!  Sure, it's easy now to go back and say that the cops didn't need to have their guns drawn, now that we all KNOW they weren't.  This is not difficult.

"The city had to write a big fat settlement check out to the family of Greg Brown, who was developmentally disabled, after being subdued by Norbits with a baton. Seriously, can anyone claim that two deaths are justifiable here?"

Well.  Greg Brown did die, that's true.  He died from positional asphyxiation from being stuffed in a car.  Officer Norbits did not do this.  He hit him in the arm with a baton.  WHILE Gregory Brown was choking another officer.  If Officer Norbits's baton strike really WAS what killed Brown, then yes, it would be entirely justifiable, and even heroic, as it saved the life of another officer.

"If this had been a coulple of little white kids in Cherry Hills both Finney and Norbits would have faced more severe consequences."

So you say.  How do we know?  These kinds of things don't happen in Cherry Hills, do they?  People don't really resist arrest very much in Cherry Hills.  People don't get shot in Cherry Hills either much, do they?  Remember that guy walking home from Arrowhead Lanes when he was attacked by those kids hitting him with boards?  That kind of stuff doesn't happen much in Cherry Hills either.  Why is that?  Do you think?

"These kids weren't even armed, yet somehow two grown men felt the need to have their guns out?"

Sure.  Because police officers have X-Ray glasses that can see guns that are hidden in people's pockets from like a mile away.  God, you're stupid.

Then you start talking about parenting.  Go ahead.  Read the police reports involving Kiwane.  See what kind of crap went on in his house when he was little.

You know, I give up.  People have made these exact same points a dozen times.  People who don't want to listen just won't listen.  This is a waste of time, and it's not even fun anymore.

Out of Your Comfort Zone?

"...it's not even fun anymore."

It's kind of striking when you waste so much effort defending the indefensible that you expect something like that in this situation to be fun?

Someone disputes the very bogus tale that's been told from one side of that day and YOU are frustrated?

What, something like 15 to 1 on Greg Brown and you think that poor man had the upperhand and you're saving someone's life?

Get real, what planet are you from?

I guess you're bored trolling here. Don't leave mad, just leave.

I forgot, why were they

I forgot, why were they fighting him again?

 

Of thats right, he was choking an officer nearly to death, an Officer who required a 3 day hospital stay as a result.  Go look up when deadly force can be used.   Seems in that case, it would have been appropriate to use.

Might want to get in touch

Might want to get in touch with Officer John Kim Badge 793 if he thought Gregory Brown was a threat.  I went and visited him in the hospital for three days as a result of his injuries.  I did not see any one but Law Enforcement there.  I must have missed your visit.  Did not see you at Shannon Bridges hospital stay either.  Must have missed your visit there as well.

Sorry.

Sorry, but it IS fun for me.  It's fun for me when people say stupid stuff like how the officers shouldn't have had their guns out, and keep saying it over and over again, never caring that it didn't make much sense in the first place.

Like, it was always funny to me when Terry Townsend would say "These kids weren't resisting arrest.  They were resisting injustice.".  As though it is somehow unjust for the police to stop someone who LOOKS like they're breaking into a house.  They're just supposed to know who's allowed to be there, you know?

As far as defending the indefensible goes, that's not exactly it.  I'm not defending the fact that Kiwane got shot.  That was an accident.  But I am defending the officers for showing up with their guns out.  Sure, it turned out that Kiwane and Jeshaun weren't armed.  Luckily.  But the police didn't know WHO these guys were.  They could have been these guys: 

Things could have turned out a lot differently.

I'm confused about this:

"Someone disputes the very bogus tale that's been told from one side of that day and YOU are frustrated?"

What is it about the police's story that's "bogus"?  The story is

1) A call is made to report a burglary in progress.  We have the report from the person who MADE the call, so that seems pretty true.

2) Norbits and Finney show up.  You doubt this?

3) They find Kiwane and Jeshaun there.  That seems pretty obvious.

4) They tell the kids to stop.  You think they didn't or something?

5) The kids don't stop, and instead resist arrest.  This is the ONLY part of the officer's story that might be false.  And what do you think?  You think the kids really DID stop?  They got on the ground and listened to the officers and didn't fight?  And then what?  Norbits decides to waste Kiwane just for the fun of it?  Really?

So what do you ACTUALLY dispute about the "very bogus" story?

Weird.

The link didn't show up.  It was supposed to say "Sure, it turned out that Kiwane and Jeshaun weren't armed.  Luckily.  But the police didn't know WHO these guys were.  They could have been these guys: "

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/courts-police-and-fire/2010-04-22/urbana-police-looking-fatal-shooting-during-home-invasion.htm

Promise?

Where have we heard this before?

Where Have We hHeard That Before?: Promises, promises, even if you're not having fun.

Hey BTW the City and the FOP

Hey BTW the City and the FOP have started negociations yesterday.  Sadly the only issue that the City has brought up was wages i.e. nothing about any of the ideas, esp. residency that the citizens group talked about on Tuesday night.

 

Guess they were not listening to you huh.

"Well.  Greg Brown did die,

"Well.  Greg Brown did die, that's true.  He died from positional asphyxiation from being stuffed in a car."

Actually no.  Brown was never stuffed into a car.  He died from a heart attack from the stress of the fight due to resistance.

My mistake.

I thought the coroner's report didn't make an official ruling, but said that positional asphyxiation was likely.  I didn't really bother to look it up again, because the point is still the same.  It wasn't Norbits and his baton who killed him.

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