Urbana resident adresses city council on racial profiling concerns

By Katie Richardson

On Monday night, Urbana resident Carol Ammons requested a response from the Urbana City Council to what she believes is a problem with racial profiling.

Ammons cited recent Illinois Department of Transportation reports, saying information found in them concerning racial profiling is unsettling. She added that she has not heard a response from the city on these findings.

Ammons asked that Urbana “be progressive” in addressing issues of racial profiling.

“I have seen a definite lack of responsiveness when talking about racial profiling,” Ammons said.

Ammons told the council she has heard of numerous people being turned away from the police department before they could file complaints about what they believed was unnecessary police action. Ammons added that many other cities, such as Los Angeles, have experienced unrest because of issues of race and the police force.

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“We do not want to see what happened in other places happen in Champaign, and that is where we are headed,” said Ammons.

“Racial profiling does not belong in our community,” said Councilman Charlie Smyth when responding.

Smyth also asked Ammons if she wanted to work with the police review board, which has been assigned to examine the state IDOT reports.

Councilwoman Danielle Chynoweth put in a public request for the chief of police to attend next week’s council meeting and address the results found in the IDOT reports.

The council also voted to begin city council meetings earlier. Council meetings will now begin at 7 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m.