Timothy Kendrick's Legal Nightmare Finally Ends

A Texas man's two-and-a-half year old drug case in Champaign County finally came to an end on February 9, 2011 in Judge Tom Difanis' courtroom after State’s Attorney Dan Clifton suddenly dropped the case. The alternative was for Judge Difanis to rule on an 8-page Motion to Dismiss for lack of a speedy trial. Had the State not dropped the case and the judge not granted the Motion to Dismiss, then the trial would have commenced.

Timothy Kendrick was arrested on Sept. 4, 2008 when coming from Houston, Texas to pick up his brother in Champaign and go to see their mother in a Chicago hospital.  The apartment where Kendrick went to pick up his brother was raided within that half hour by the Drug Enforcement unit of the Champaign police with a search warrant. Kendrick claims that of the five adults who were present on the scene, or brought in from the parking lot, one of them was let go and Kendrick’s fingerprints were the only ones taken. He says his photo id was taken from his pocket while he was handcuffed and a crime scene photo was taken with his ID propped up in a kitchen cabinet, above a drawer where drugs were found.

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, February 7th

Check out what events and shows are coming up at the IMC!

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, January 31st

Check out what's coming up at the IMC in early February!

Urbana-Champaign Stands in Solidarity with the People of Egypt!

On Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, a solidarity rally for Egypt took place at the Champaign County Courthouse in downtown Urbana.

More than 100 people stood in the bitter cold to show their support for the ouster of Egypt's President Mubarak and called on the US to get out of the Middle East.

One woman reported that her sister who is in Cairo told her that there were F-16s doing flyovers above the city, planes which the United States had sold to Mubarak.


The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, January 24th

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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.

The IMC Weekly for the week of Tuesday, January 18th

Check out what's coming up at the IMC!

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, January 10th

A look at upcoming events at the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center for the week of January 10 and beyond!

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, January 3rd

Check out what's going on at the IMC!

New Year, New Issue of the Public i

Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of the Public i is out and available around Urbana and Champaign this week.  Look for copies around campus, downtown Urbana, downtown and North Champaign, and here at your friendly neighborhood independent media center.


Of course, you can also download a copy here, too!

2011-01coverTopics covered this month include:

Historic Passage of the Local Community Radio Act (pictured left) by Danielle Chynoweth

Sheriffs Deputy Fired for DUI by Brian Dolinar

Volunteers Bring Open WiFi Network to Detroit by Brian Duggan

The Long Fight for a Wind Turbine Comes to a Head by Amy Allen

A Great Literacy Campaign for African America in the 21st Century by Amira Davis

Responses to Illinois civil unions by Paul Nolan, Phillip Reese, and students from Urbana High School

Everybody Wins, a poem by Kumar Salehi

Clear Bad Baggage, a poem by Durrell Callier, Suzanne Hassler & Kristina Williams

VEYA Youth Documentary Video Released

A video documentary on issues facing African American youth has been released by VEYA (Visionaries Education Youth and Adults). It features interviews from 2005 with local black youth. On December 28, 2010, the video debuted on UPTV. More screenings on UPTV and in the community are being scheduled.

Youth Documentary Part 1

Youth Documentary Part 2

Youth Documentary Part 3



Disciplinary Actions Taken Against Champaign Police Officers

Despite being public bodies serving a public good, most police departments operate as secret societies. The push for police accountability includes making their practices more transparent. I recently obtained all disciplinary actions taken against Champaign police officers since 2006. Contrary to what I expected, only a small percentage of the disciplinary actions were the result of citizen complaints. The most common reason was for damage to a squad car. Yet there were still several instances of misconduct that threatened both citizens and officers.

The IMC Weekly for the weeks of Monday, December 13th, 20th and the 27th

Happy Holidays everyone!

December Issue of Public i out!

The December 2010 issue of the Public i is out now with articles on racial profiling, city court, and the deepening economic crisis.


The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, December 6th

A look at upcoming IMC events


Rev. Troy A. Burks Elected as President of the Champaign County NAACP

According to the NAACP web site http://naacpcc.org/ election results have come in for the President of the Champaign County Branch.

After a run-off vote, Rev. Troy A. Burks has been elected to take the President position on Jan. 1, 2011.

Congratulations to Rev. Burks!


"What Does 2009 Traffic Stop Data Tell Us About Police Behavior in Champaign-Urbana?"

The sixth annual state report on Illinois Traffic Stop Statistics was recently released by the Center for Research in Law and Justice of the University of Illinois at Chicago.  The statistics provide a window into local traffic stop data that helps local communities answer a fundamental question:   “Are the number of traffic stops and searches involving motor vehicles operated by members of a racial minority disproportionate to the number of traffic stops involving motor vehicles operated by persons who are not members of a racial minority?”

What does the data tell us about traffic stop behavior of the Champaign, Urbana, and University of Illinois police departments?

Sheriff’s Deputy Fired For DUI

It has been confirmed that Travis Burr was dismissed from his position as investigator with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. Burr was charged with a DUI after being involved in a three-car accident, details about which have yet to become publicly available.

On August 14, 2010, Burr was driving east from Sadorus when he was involved in the accident. After Sheriff’s deputies showed up on the scene and discovered that Burr was a colleague, the state police were called in to investigate. As stated in court documents, “Subject had a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath and slightly slurred speech. Subject had bloodshot eyes and admitted drinking 6-8 beers since noon. Subject failed SFST’s [Standardized Field Sobriety Tests].” Unfortunately, due to a policy enforced beginning in 2007 by State’s Attorney Julia Rietz, police reports describing the incident in more detail are not available to the public until after the court case is resolved.

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, November 29th

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, November 15th

Check out the rundown of IMC events for the week.

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, November 8th

This is the IMC Weekly, a rundown of IMC events for the week of Monday, November 8th.


“Poetry for the People” Brings Poet Lisa Marie Rollins to Urbana’s Neighborhood Connections

On November 2, 2010, the Public i held a workshop as part of its “Poetry for the People” series at Neighborhood Connections Center, Inc., Urbana’s new community center serving African American youth. The host for the workshop was Lisa Marie Rollins, Oakland-based poet, playwright, and performer. This was the first cultural program at the Center since its opening in January 2010. The “Poetry for the People” project is funded by a grant from Urbana’s Public Arts Commission.

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, November 1st

This is the IMC Weekly, a rundown of IMC events for the week of November 1st. Don't forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 2nd!



eBlack Champaign-Urbana Holding Public Symposium

For the past year the eBlackChampaign-Urbana project has worked with local youth and community institutions to digitize local African-American history and make it accessible online. In doing this project we discovered that technological barriers prevented full use of this free resource. At this free Symposium, November 5-6, the project will attempt to connect together the many individuals and institutions making differences in the lives of local African-Americans to build a network of support that can be used to enable our community to take full advantage of the technological resources that already exist and will be built in the future.

The IMC Weekly for the week of Monday, October 25

This is the IMC Weekly, a rundown of IMC events for the week of October 25. Happy Halloween, everyone!

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