Community Court Watch Corner

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On December 1, Champaign-Urbana
Citizens for Peace and Justice held a
press conference to pre-empt a plea bargain
expected to be finalized for Sgt.
William Alan Myers, accused of illegally
using a Taser on an inmate in the Champaign
County jail (Case No. 05CF2105).
Over 25 members of the public were present at the press
conference, along with four local news outlets. Michael
Rich, one of Myers’ victims, read from a prepared statement
included below.
A continuance was given to Sgt. Myers for time to
resolve the plea bargain, clearly a move to dodge growing
community outrage.
The charges against Sgt. Myers are for aggravated battery,
obstruction of justice, and disorderly conduct. State’s
Attorney Julia Rietz has offered to drop the first two
charges if Myers pleads guilty to disorderly conduct and
accepts the punishment of a two year conditional discharge.
Despite the tough talk by Rietz that the inappropriate
use of Tasers “will not be tolerated,” the plea bargain
involves no admission that Myers wrongly used a Taser.
The Sheriff’s Department, which oversees the county
jails, conducted its own investigation into Myers and
turned up a total of four incidents when he used a Taser on
inmates. Myers is currently being prosecuted for tasing
inmate Ray Hsieh on November 14, 2005, but he also
tased another man, Michael Alexander, in the same week.
In September 2005, Myers tased Trina Fairley, a pregnant
woman. A fourth inmate, Northern Illinois student
Michael Rich, has also testified that Myers tortured him
with a Taser in the Champaign County jail.
For the full story on Sgt. Myers see the October issue of
the Public i or visit

About Brian Dolinar

Brian Dolinar has been a community journalist since 2004.
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