Police Incompetence in Champaign, Part 1 of Infinity

 
Champaign Police Department has some problems.

A little while ago, I developed the theory that the Champaign Police Department ("CPD") is incompetent. Since I developed that theory, I have had a number of "touchpoints" with CPD, where they had an opportunity to either support or undermine my theory. Their actions have consistently supported my theory.

The first situation I'll discuss occurred in spring, 2006. My business received a rapid-fire series of calls from a parent and a student who were requesting an exception to our refund policy. The customer and his family exhausted our patience and we asked that they stop calling. Nevertheless, they persisted. I eventually put one of the calls on speakerphone because I wanted an employee to hear the customer's outrageous statements. As we both listened, the customer issued a death threat.

I immediately called CPD and officer Bridges was dispatched. I advised Bridges that I had received a death threat while a call was on speakerphone and that my employee, who was standing near me, had heard the conversation. Officer Bridges took some notes, including the phone number from which the caller had called. When she turned to leave, I asked if she wanted the witness information. She declined the information and left.

Of course, I never heard anything from CPD. Since I was somewhat distressed by the situation, I had my attorney request the police report.

When we received the report, we found that the officer had failed to record the fact that there was a witness.

I filed a complaint. Robert Finney and Brad Yohnka interviewed me regarding the complaint, and I hired a court reporter to document the conversation. During the conversation, Yohnka stated that he does not trust me. Nevertheless, I continued with the conversation and complained that the officer had failed to record the witness information.

After the meeting, I sent Finney a letter requesting that someone other than Yohnka investigate the complaint. I did not feel that Yohnka could objectively evaluate the situation since he was clearly prejudiced against the complainint. Finney refused my request. So not only were the police investigating the police, an officer who does not trust me was assigned to investigate my complaint.

I eventually receieved a determination letter. Finney and his pals determined that it was appropriate for the officer not to record witness information because the officer was not aware that the call was on speakerphone. He did not offer to pursue the complaint further with the new information which he now possessed, that the call was on speakerphone and that it was witnessed. And he made no apology for the officer's failure to listen carefully to my testimony regarding the speakerphone or her failure to document the name of the witness.

I thought I had them. The complaint was unambiguous and irrefutable. But my irrefutable complaint was broadened in scope by CPD to something which could be refuted if officer, investigator, or both were willing to fabricate a plausible explanation, and fabricate they did.

I appealed the decision to City Manager Steve Carter, per the terms of the complaint process. I have received no communications whatsoever from Carter.

Are the Champaign Police accountable to anyone?

What do you think about this?

Stay tuned for more exciting encounters with CPD.

add a comment on this article

oops

D. T. 26.Aug.2006 00:46

typo...meant "complainant"