Category Archives: Policing

Champaign Hired Police Chief Timothy Tyler Despite Disciplinary Past and Allegations of Misconduct—Print Version

A version of this article originally appeared on IPM Newsroom on January 9, 2024. It has been edited for space and style. See the full version on the Public i website. This story is part of a partnership between the … Continue reading

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Champaign Hired Police Chief Timothy Tyler Despite Disciplinary Past and Allegations of Misconduct—Original (Long) Version

A version of this article originally appeared on IPM Newsroom on January 9, 2024. It has been edited for style. See the shorter, print version here. This story is part of a partnership, focusing on police misconduct in Champaign County, … Continue reading

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As Police Budget Swells, Safety Forum Articulates a Different Vision

Crime is going down in Urbana, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at Urbana’s police budget. After a $2.25 million increase in the police budget in the last two years—largely for salary increases and bonuses—Urbana leadership is pushing to … Continue reading

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Champaign Police Investigate “Agency Culture” of Not Following Domestic Violence Reporting Laws — Print Version

A longer version of this article originally appeared on IPM Newsroom on October 9, 2023. It has been edited for space and style. See the full version here. This story is part of a partnership between the Invisible Institute’s Champaign-Urbana … Continue reading

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Champaign Police Investigate “Agency Culture” of Not Following Domestic Violence Reporting Laws — Original (Long) Version

This story was originally published by IPM Newsroom on October 9, 2023. It has been edited for style. See the shorter, print version here. This story is part of a partnership focusing on police misconduct in Champaign County between the … Continue reading

 211 total views

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A “Pattern of Problematic Conduct”: Urbana Officer Tests Police Accountability (Shortened Print Version)

This article originally appeared at WILL/Illinois Public Media on July 5, 2023. Reprinted with permission. It has been edited for space and style. See the full version here. “I had a big goose egg on my forehead,” Tianna Morrow recalled, … Continue reading

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A “Pattern of Problematic Conduct”: Urbana Officer Tests Police Accountability (Full Version)

This story is part of a partnership, focusing on police misconduct in Champaign County, between the Champaign-Urbana Civic Police Data Project of the Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit public accountability journalism organization, and Illinois Public Media. This investigation was supported … Continue reading

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Code Blue: Suffering through DWB in Rantoul

This essay, submitted to the Rantoul Press in 2009, was never published. The author shares it now to give context to community concerns with policing in Rantoul in the wake of recent police shootings of young Black men. “You were … Continue reading

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Central Illinois Police Training for Mental Health Cases Questioned — Print Version

Tisha Bryson has been shackled, hospitalized, and shoved to the ground by Champaign-area police while experiencing a mental health crisis more times than she can count. “I try not to hold grudges,” said Bryson, of Hammond. “But some of the … Continue reading

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Central Illinois Police Training for Mental Health Cases Questioned — Full Version

Tisha Bryson has been shackled, hospitalized and shoved to the ground by central Illinois law enforcement officers while experiencing a mental health crisis more times than she can count. “I try not to hold grudges,” Bryson said, a resident of … Continue reading

 432 total views

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“It’s a Money Grab”: Billions in COVID Relief Going to Fund Police and Prisons

If you’re from inner-city Birmingham, Alabama, there’s a “99-percent chance” you have a family member or friend who has been incarcerated, according to Veronica Johnson, deputy director for the Alabama Justice Initiative, which has been fighting against a proposal to … Continue reading

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Local Community Protests Former Champaign Police Chief’s Teaching Appointment at Parkland College

Former Champaign Police Chief Robert T. Finney was hired in August, 2020 to teach Community Policing as well as Introduction to Criminal Justice at Parkland College. “Unbelievable” is what one African American community member thought on hearing the news; “Shocking,” … Continue reading

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Taking the Band-Aid Off of Mass Incarceration

On a bad day, those of us seeking justice can find little to be hopeful about. The recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse again reminds us that the law is designed to protect white lives. Even after widespread protests and demonstrations … Continue reading

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Urbana’s Long Search for Traffic-Stop Equity

In 2004 the State of Illinois required all law enforcement agencies to report their annual traffic stop data to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The Urbana Police Department’s (UPD) data shows they have enforced traffic laws inequitably every year … Continue reading

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There’s Something Happening Here

Gun violence in Champaign-Urbana has certainly dominated public discourse of late. As a city council member, I hear a lot of it. Here are some common myths being thrown around about local gun violence and law enforcement: “The libs on … Continue reading

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Ubuntu Project Statement on Automated License Plate Readers

The Ubuntu Project Urbana-Champaign is disappointed to learn that the Champaign City Council is considering voting to purchase license plate readers. Considering the well-documented controversial reputation and questionable value of license plate readers, the Champaign people need more information on … Continue reading

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The Ubuntu Project and the Need for a Progressive Shift in Policing

Ubuntu is a term that originated with the Zulu people and roughly translates to “humanity” in English. The term emerged as a political concept following apartheid’s disintegration in South Africa. Now a collective of local community members, scholars, clergy, and … Continue reading

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Police Brutality is Not Uniquely American: Try France

While we are rightly preoccupied with abuse by the police in the United States, almost no Americans know anything about policing and justice in other countries. France offers a particularly interesting case. In January, six nongovernmental organizations, including Amnesty International … Continue reading

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The 2021 Illinois Police and Criminal Justice Reform Bill

On February 22, Governor Pritzker signed House Bill 3653. This bill, rather a composite omnibus of many bills, was sponsored by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in both the Illinois House and Senate. Several of the individual bills were sponsored … Continue reading

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Urbana Police Chief Finally Admits Misconduct in Aleyah Lewis Arrest

  It has been more than seven months since the violent arrest of Urbana resident Aleyah Lewis. Tens of thousands of people have watched the videos of Urbana Police Officers throwing Lewis to the ground, pinning her, punching her in the … Continue reading

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