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We hope you enjoy the daily news stories that we produce, and we pride ourselves on great investigative journalism. We will feature pages that focus on stories that you cannot find anywhere else. Please visit often to catch up on these big news issues happening in the local community.
On some occasions we will being news to the community regarding alerts to statewide issues that could impact this community. Check daily to see what we have.
One of the stories we covered last week was on Dashira Birmingham and her forceful police stop while she was pregnant. As follow up story we want to address the incident where the police officer took her phone and smashed it on the window/
Unless your private property is a part of a crime investigation/ scene or covered under a warrant, anyone taking your property or breaking it is in fact breaking a law. It is called damage to property the theft.
\No, Police do NOT have the right to touch your personal property outside the reasons stated herein. Please be aware that this is a report that can be filed with the City as well as the DOJ and civilly in courts.
To file a claim with Macomb Police Department, please use this form. We have been hearing issues with fear of retaliation, as those who called 911 on police brutality were charged for their calls. However, we have no indication as of yet, for retaliation on these reports.
Chief Barker was use to getting complaints over the years, then 2019 hit and complaints seemed to roll in faster. In 2020 reporters and activists started getting harassed for reporting the increase in police brutality complaints. The website to lodge a complaint had a faulty link. By 2021 he decided to leave the untouched burden to the next police chief.
We question why he let the situation escalate and kept these police officers on the street. Why didn't he do anything about the no-violation stops, or injured residents. Why didn't he question the charges for no-fault stops leading to criminal cases? Had he investigated these issues, the courts would be less inundated and that city would not be in an uproar in 2021. Did he resign facing pressure over what he led and what grew from his lack of oversight? At what point do the victims hold him personally liable?
What will Jerel Jones, the new police chief do to intake all the complaints that have not been accepted by the police in the past? When will he announce investigations into the officers in the complaints?
In a written letter to the press, Southwood tried to use lawsuit and job threats to intimidate Heather McMeekan and her organization, one that is trying to expose the wrongdoings of the Police officers in Macomb, IL.
When is the Police above the law?
While idol threats and intimidation might be practice for lawyers in IL, people in position of authority are not allowed to act in a manner unbecoming to their positions both ethically and legally.
On May 4, 2021 Southland submitted these threats in hopes the reporters would print the story defaming the organization and chair, instead it backfired, showing what type of person he and his organization is and what they stand for. This is aa breaking story and we will continue to cover this story as it transpires.
On May 6, 2021 Heather sent him a stop harassment order.
Anthony Lee Luetkenhaus, 37, faces five years to life without parole for first degree rape charges, up to 20 years kidnapping, up to 10 years each on 2 counts of sexual battery, and up to a year in prison with fines of $1,000
There are a total of two victims He was a former teacher at WIU and was arrested at Northern Oklahoma College.
We have spent the better part of 4 weeks trying to figure out who Heather was and why the big bad Republican Mayor and Police Organization are afraid of her. Here is what we uncovered.
Heather is an Activist and Registered Democrat. She sits on many committees and Boards around town. One of these organizations has been applying pressure on the Mayor to make some changes to ow the Police behave, as numbers grow on counts of excessive force.
We found that in 2019 her organization the Racial Justice Coalition was contacted by many victims who tried to lodge a complaint against local police and found the link on the City's website to be a non-working link. People did not return their calls. They reached out to the local organizations to seek assistance.
In November of 2019 she asked to meet with the Mayor and offered a list of changes, as a form of Mediation. She refused to meet privately with the Mayor and chose a public place with witness, as her previous times with the Mayor had been strife with controversy.
From what we have uncovered, none of her recommendations were adapted from that meeting.
She held rallys and spoke up publicly in 2019 and nothing changed.
In 2020 they started retaliating. Matter of fact, in June of 2020 they claimed to have lost residents comments to be read at the city's monthly meeting. Their peaceful protests have been stormed by crazy people, and she has been bullied online by police officer family members leading up to the most recent letter of intimidation from the FOP Chairman Police Organization in Macomb.
It appears that they are not wishing to make changes and are now in a state to hush her up.
So what does Heather have on these bad cops that they fear will come out? Why hasn't Mayor Inman addressed the supercharged officers, excessive force, targeting black women in Macomb?
The Mayor's office has not taken our call.
We started looking into why Heather? Her entire organization is behind the gathering of evidence against the police. There are dozens of people involved in trying to bring this to the attention of the proper authorities and seek justice for the victims. She is not fighting alone. All we could come up with is that it might be because of her past situation with the Mayor. IS the Mayor pointing at her directly or is it because she is the outspoken one?
We look forward to reporting on this local woman who is trying to stop police brutality and taking the hits for it. We will be covering all stories about this situation and will be looking into the process for filing complaints against officers and why there is nothing in place to deal with this situation. Stay turned for more...
Dashira is the third person we are covering in a series of excessive force in Macomb, IL. Her case happened a few years ago. She was a passenger in the vehicle of a car that was pulled over by police, after an altercation happened between the driver and another vehicle. This is where this story gets interesting.
Upon the police stop, the driver shut the car off The Police officer in Macomb did not walk to the driver side, he went right to the passenger side where pregnant Dashira was sitting patiently. When he knocked on her window, it startled her. She looked at him and he was very angry, demanding energetically for her to roll the window down. Immediately she sensed danger by his actions. She reached down to roll it down but found it would not budge since the car was turned off. As she tried to explain this through the window with the cop seeing her trying, he demanded she open her door.
Once the door was cracked open, he grabbed her out. Both she and the back seat passenger started screaming she was pregnant and not to hurt her. The cop pushed her into the cop car stomach first despite the warnings, rough housed her, then demanded she lay stomach down onto the concrete.
Now remember, to this point, she had done NOTHING wrong as a passenger in the car. When she was told to get stomach down on the ground she said she can't, again stating she was pregnant and that she had done nothing wrong. She did not want to be viewed as resisting, so she sat down on her butt.
The officer was super charged and she feared for her life. His aggressive actions and lack of care abut her pregnancy had her begging for her an her unborn babes life. She took her cell phone out and called 911.
When another officer arrived they heard her on the phone with 911 and took her phone, smashing it on the windshield.
The driver had been detained in the back of the squad car and released with no charges but Dashira would not be so lucky.
After leaving her sweltering in the back of a cop car, they booked her on criminal charges for calling 911 on an officer. Despite the fact the officer was over charged emotionally and she felt her and her babies life was in extreme danger. De-escalation was not a reality for this day.
This is the second case people feared for their life with the officers in Macomb This is the second time 911 was called and both cases led to criminal charges. It is the second time we report an overcharged, hyper cop trumping up charges on an innocent person whom excessive force was used in the process. Stay tuned for more on her story..
When police "profile stop" vs having an actual reason for a stop, it can be perceived by the community as an attack against different races. This situation in Macomb has caused many local residents to speak out about racial profiling locally. Many cases have surfaced on one police officer with questionable tattoos that have been used by white nationalists in IL and have led to reviewing his traffic stop patterns. These stops caused others to be physically harmed by being tasered 5 times, contusion on head, left for dead on jail floors, hot boxed in a police car, police reports filled with lies and more.
Addressing the first issue, which includes no reason traffic stops and illegal searches, constitute profiling and fishing stops (hoping to find something illegal and nothing is found) is the first step towards stopping this. The second step is holding the individuals accountable. We want to stress that most police know the laws and are here to protect you. In all jobs of power though, you will find those on power trips who are there on an agenda. If it is a police officer looking to harm black women, it needs to be addressed.
If you have ever been hit by a taser, you know most people fall on the first strike. Larger people take up to 2 shots.
So why is Macomb okay with 5 on a 140lb woman? Why is it ok to dump her passed out on a jail floor for hours without medical attention, while telling the jail she is passed out from drinking?
We have started seeing stories coming in about excessive tasering by police, jail staff and Sheriffs deputies.
The problem is that vest cameras are not being worn. The latest versions of vests can turn on a vest cam at the pull of a taser or gun. This would hold police accountable for taser abuse.
Taser training is mandatory. A taser can kill anyone with medical conditions. Every taser victim deserves a paramedic call, but sadly that is not happening.
Will the Mayor start to address these issues or will it get worse? We shall see!
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