Man Claims Beaten by Sergeant in Jail

Qwantrell Ayers was brought into a courtroom Friday morning, Jan. 21, 2011, in a wheelchair. He claims that the previous Friday, Jan. 14, he was kicked in the back, his groin, and had his leg injured by Sgt. Johnson in the Champaign County jail. He has been in and out of Carle Hospital three times since the alleged beating due to internal bleeding described as “excessive.” A colostomy bag was attached during surgery after he was having difficulty urinating. His leg is also swollen making it difficult to walk.

He was in court for a ruling on his fitness to stand trial for criminal charges against him. After a report filed by Champaign psychiatrist Dr. Jeckel, Qwantrell was ruled to be unfit by Judge Heidi Ladd and will receive treatment at the McFarland Mental Health Center in Springfield. Also in the courtroom was Qwantrell’s mother, who I spoke with in order to get her son’s account of what happened.

Qwantrell’s mother says she was speaking on the phone with her son in the jail that Friday when their call was cut short. She said there was dead air briefly, she heard her son screaming, and the phone was hung up. This was when, according to Qwantrell, he was brutally beaten by Sgt. Johnson. 

Curiously, Chamapign County Sheriff Dan Walsh stood at the back of the courtroom during the hearing with folded arms. During recess, I approached Walsh to ask why Qwantrell was in a wheelchair, but he said he would not talk to me. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been filed for any public documents related to the incident or subsequent investigation by the Sheriff’s office.

The afternoon of the hearing, Qwantrell’s mother received a call from her son who had already been moved to the Kankakee County jail. Why, she did not know.

Dr. Jeckel?

That's an entirely unfortunate name

Here's a small amount of info on Mr. Ayres' charges


As with all, there must be more to this story. Be interested to see what comes of it. 

And the Point Is?

So Mr. Ayers is in jail. And someone thinks what he may or may not have done six months ago is a reason, excuse, or just the twisted logic behind Sgt. Johnson beating him a couple of weeks ago?

If the schoolyard bully came up with that kind of excuse, he'd get study hall, detention, suspension or maybe even expulsion.

If a cop does it, some people start looking to help him with excuses.

That's a perversion of justice, not it's exercise.

More than likely, in Champaign County Sgt. Johnson won't even get "study hall" for his brutality.

"small amount of info" = Irrelevant

Sorry, but the reason Mr. Ayers was in jail is all but irrelevant to his beating at the hands of Sgt. Johnson. In fact, posting the link seems designed more to prejudice people than it is "probative" as a judge would say if this was brought up in a court in regard to the beating.

In fact, it seems posted more as an excuse or alibi for Sgt. Johnson's actions, where that bit of info is even more irrelevant.

Likewise, the habit of the local justice system seems to be to try cases in the News-Gazette, with prosecutors and judges looking over their shoulders to be sure that they get the spin that benefits the official story, more than it reflects real justice.

Let's get things back on topic, which is addressing the beating of Mr. Ayers at the hands of Sgt. Johnson. Or has someone already decided -- as happens so often with what passes for "justice" in Champaign County -- what the results are supposed to be, before the investigation of this beating gets underway?

Highly relevant

Actually, Qwantrell's history of violence is highly relevant.  With his remarkably violent history, I find it much more likely that he was the instigator of this incident.  If, for example, Mahatma Gandhi had told me that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack, I would be much more likely to believe him, thanks to his history of nonviolence.

Gang Violence

What do we see here? Someone's accused of a crime and the first thing that a police supporter what to do is BLAME THE VICTIM?

Any single person with a history of violence can represent a threat to the community. Sure.

More worrisome are organized groups of people who share a propensity towards unchecked violence towards others. We obviously should worry more about that.

We should worry more about a certain gang with a long history of violence -- the Hiding Behind My Shield Gang. It's a gang that judges and proescutors in the county fear to cross. It's a gang that various public figures make a habit of kissing its ass in public. It's a gang whose violence is the actual topic of this article, not what Ayers did months ago.

You know, I can't help but

You know, I can't help but love the mentality behind this.  It seems to be something like:


"OK, sure.  Qwantrell Ayres has broken into people's homes and shot at people who have never done him any harm.  And, yeah, he HAS been known to hit people with bricks and steal thousands of dollars from him.  But he would never LIE!"

Cops Lying

Again, you just want to talk about Ayers, when Ayers is the victim.

But I'm sure you are sure cops NEVER lie.

Maybe the poor guy fell down the stairs or something?

Sure, and I've got a real nice bridge over the Boneyard that I can make you a heck of a deal on.

From what I heard, Ayers doesn't have to say much, maybe can't say much. His injuries will speak louder than any words, I suspect.

"when Ayers is the

"when Ayers is the victim."


He claims to be.  Doesn't necessarily mean he's an innocent victim.


Do cops lie?  Sure, sometimes.  Do criminals lie?  Yes, nearly ALL the time.  They're criminals.  What do you want from them?

Let's just look at his story.  He claims that the police, who had him locked up and could have beaten him up whenever they wanted, picked the exact moment he was on the phone, talking to someone on the outside, for their completely unprovoked assault.  Does that really make sense to you?

Hmm, the question of

Hmm, the question of innocence to be determined here is that of Sgt. Johnson.

And the person who the public needs to hear from on why he did it is Sgt. Johnson.

I guess from what you've said and what is otherwise know that Sgt. Johnson was the only one involved in the beating of Mr. Ayres.

In a system where everyone is equally accountable for his actions, what Sgt. Johnson did to Mr. Ayres if for the legal system to sort out. Starting out with, "But your honor, he deserved the beating I gave him..." just doesn't cut it.

"I guess from what you've

"I guess from what you've said and what is otherwise know that Sgt. Johnson was the only one involved in the beating of Mr. Ayres."


I said nothing of the sort.  That's the story from the article.  I assumed that, if there were other officers involved, Brian would have told us.  Personally, I'm not entirely convinced Sgt Johnson had anything to do with it.  For all we know, Ayres could have been beaten up by another inmate and blamed it on Johnson just because he has a beef with him of some kind.  My point was merely that the story we were told is a little far-fetched, and considering the source, a bit hard to believe at face value.


"Starting out with, 'But your honor, he deserved the beating I gave him...' just doesn't cut it."

Yeah, that's not a very good opening line, is it? 


Ayres should look at it like this.  What he actually deserves is to be locked up in a small, quiet room for the rest of his life, where he will never shoot at people or hit them with bricks ever again.  That probably won't happen to him.  There ain't no justice, is there.  If nothing else, he can take comfort in the fact that, over the long run, the injustices of the world work in his favor.

"More worrisome are organized

"More worrisome are organized groups of people who share a propensity towards unchecked violence towards others. We obviously should worry more about that."


I agree. That's why Qwantrell went to jail in the first place.

Justice Beaten As Badly As Ayres

Maybe you're just trying too hard to be jolly...

Whatever did happen to Ayres, there was no Gang in Blue on his side. If there was, somebody on the staff of the jail would be facing charges.

And it's clear that the Hiding Behind My Shield gangsters operate unchecked, dispensing their own brand of justice that has nothing to do with what is legal. It wasn't legal for Sgt. Johnson to beat Ayres, but apparently the same standards of crime don't apply to Johnson as they did to Ayres.

That's not justice -- it's vigilantism. And the rule of law no longer exists in Champaign County. It's the rule of uniformed thugs and politicians looking to get re-elected, no matter the actions of their subordinates (Sheriff Walsh) or of those who are supposed to represent the people's interest that everyone face the same standard of accountability and juctice (Ms. Rietz and Judge Ladd).

Then Let's Include Violent Organizations

OK, if you feel that's important, then the past history of nearly-unchecked violence among local law enforcement and at the jail is also relevant, in fact more relevant to the disposition of whatever investigation comes of this, which is still open to question. There's a long rap sheet there. You seem blissfully oblivious to that.

You were just fishing for an excuse for Sgt. Johnson's violent behavior by selectively referring to an inmate's past and not that of the sheriff's department. And your lame attempt at "Move along, there's nothing to see here..." is so totally unconvincing that you merely called more attention to the fact that Sgt. Johnson will most likely get away with whatever he did to  the inmate.

Your position reflects yet another restatement of evidence of there being two law enforcement systems at work in this county. There's the justice system, which often does violence to the idea of justice and applies to most of us citizens. Then there's the "just-us" system, which applies to those who believe that giving officers of the law and the court a "Stay Out of Jail Free" card when they get on the public's payroll is Job #1.

FOIA response

I received a response to my FOIA dated Jan. 26, 2011. The Sheriff's office is asking for additional time to "allow for the examination and evaluation of the requested data by personnel having the necessary competence and discretion to determine if anything is exempt from disclosure under FOIA or if the data should be revealed with the appropriate deletions."

I will be given an answer by Feb. 4.


Video Footage... Assage

The phones are monitored by cameras.  But I am certain the video clip of the beating is conveniently hidden up Johnson's ass.

Ok, seriously when did you

Ok, seriously when did you people go off the rails? I understand a healthy mistrust of your government officals, but please. Here you have a guy that is a career criminal, a violent one at that. One that the Judge in this case said was mentaly unfit to stand trial. Yet so many of you will jump to his side at the drop of a hat if he says the cops hurt him. No wonder our criminal justice system is so messed up. You all are potential Jurors.

And it is funny how often you all are so very wrong. Lets look at the history of this site and how often you all claim that nothing will happen to a bad cop, only to find that they are fired and charged. How often you all claim that police are killing people illegaly to later be proven wrong. And when you are proven wrong, it becomes a cover up.

Cops lie and act like bullies

I got pulled over a couple of days ago for allegedly "speeding"  I exited the car. When I got out of the car.  The cop screamed at me to get back in the vehicle.  I told him that I am a citizen of the United States and that I have freedom to do whatever I want, I explained to him that I am a taxpayer and pay his salary. This clearly upset the cop "I mean dont they have to have a pych test" - bottom line regardless if I am doing something he feels is not right, he NEEDS to keep it professional.  He told me to get back in the car or he was going to cuff me.  So he did cuff me and the cuffs tore into my skin it left red marks for several hours. I would like to know why my complaint does not get any media attention or press. This may be on a smaller scale, but it's still serious.  Get it together C-U media. Stop being part of the machine that you use to complain about.

You probably should have

You probably should have stayed in your vehicle, like he told you. 

Seriously, you are not very

Seriously, you are not very smart. The fact is that regardless of what you might think, you cant do anything you want. The cops do have a legal right to order you to stay in the car,or get out of the car. And you are required to follow these orders. Come on, It is your responsibility as a citizen of the United States to know this stuff. Its not the cops fault you dont know the law. The cop was upset because they hate getting shot on traffic stops. Nothing makes cops more mad than people not following simple directions and shooting them at work. Sure, you say, you would never shoot a cop and he should have known that. I mean come on, they are all trained to read minds. I bet you are saying that cops really dont get shot anyway right. Yep, just ask the people of Indy this very day. I bet they will tell you cops get shot on traffic stops. 14 killed already this year, almost a record...almost. Bottom line, If you expect the police to act professional, you should try it first. But if you act like an idiot and make up your own rules, expect to be treated in kind.

FOIA denied

My FOIA request for records on the ticketing of Ayers for any offense on January 14 or investigation into the incident was denied by the Sheriff's office.

The explanation given was that providing such documents would "interfere with pending law enforcement proceedings and interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings."

Ayers has been found unfit for trial, therefore when his case will be resolved is uncertain.

He is still being held at the Kankakee jail.


BD; Could you explain what is


Could you explain what is meant by the ticketing of Ayers?  I assume that is something internal rather than criminal reports?


There are disciplinary tickets that are issued in jail and prisons.They are apart from the criminal proceedings Ayers is facing.

But the Sheriff's response did not differentiate between the criminal case from this possible ticket.

It will remain a mystery and the Sheriff is not obligated to respond to my questions.

You might call Walsh yourself and see how far you get.

But with no public outrage, this all flies under the radar.

And clearly no other media outlets find this newsworthy.


One More Issue

Clearly, other media don't consider that it's not just Egypt where the secret police operate. That sort of stuff happens right here in the good ol' USA...

Just like in Egypt, there's not a lot of incentive to hold the authorities responsible.

Both places, all it would take is one courageous state's attorney....


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