Community activists question police shooting investigation

The CU Citizens for Peace and Justice (CUCPJ) held a press conference Monday to discuss the investigation into the police shooting of 15 year-old Kiwane Carrington.

The incident occurred on Oct. 9 after an altercation between the boy, another 15-year-old boy and Champaign police officers. The altercation took place at 906 W. Vine Street.

The incident was investigated by the Champaign County Multi-jurisdictional Investigative Team, which is composed of officers from the University police, Urbana police, Rantoul police, the Illinois State Police Department and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

Monday’s conference began with CUCPJ member Mark Enslin calling for the resignation of Champaign Chief of Police R.T. Finney, who was present during the shooting. Enslin also called for a rewrite of the police department’s “use of force” policy, the creation of an independent citizen police review board with the power to subpoena and the dropping of all charges against the other boy involved in the case, whom police arrested after the incident. Jeshaun Manning-Carte was charged with aggravated resisting arrest.

Rhonda Williams, Carrington’s aunt, expressed discontent that the involved officer, Daniel Norbits, has been working for the police following the October 9 incident and throughout the investigation.

“I think we need a higher investigation to get a fair shake,” Williams said. “I really believe that we need an independent investigation beside the Champaign County investigation.”

After the conference, CUCPJ released a statement questioning the objectivity of the investigation, and claiming that Champaign County’s State Attorney Julia Rietz cannot objectively investigate the involvement of Finney and Norbits in the case.

Terry Townsend, community activist, said CUCPJ would do what is necessary for justice and immediate action.

“The state police led investigation has been completed and turned over to the district attorney, yet local officials refuse to release the content of alleged phone calls made to the police, even though they have released the time and date of the call,” Townsend said. “Our questions have not been answered satisfactorily. Therefore we will seek outside help in this matter.”