University officer under investigation

By Ryan Davis

A University police officer is under investigation and has been placed on paid leave for discharging a firearm in the direction of an alleged robber outside the Super Pantry, 2002 N. Lincoln Ave., early Sunday morning.

Sheriff Lt. Ed Ogle of the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office said that the suspect involved in the altercation was Jack A. Beasley, whom officers pursued after Urbana resident Gary McCall told police that Beasley had robbed him.

The original call came in at 12:20 a.m., Ogle said.

Police spotted the suspect in a pickup truck at 3:24 a.m. and pursued him to the Super Pantry, Ogle said. It was at this point that the University police officer fired in Beasley’s direction.

An investigative unit, The Serious Use of Force Team, is looking into the incident, Ogle said.

“The (team) is coming near closure of their review,” said Jeff Christensen, assistant chief of University police. Christensen believes the review should be completed by the end of next week.

The Serious Use of Force Team is a group of seasoned investigators who consider the evidence of an incident, personal accounts and eyewitness accounts to determine if the use of force was an appropriate response, said Kris Fitzpatrick, chief of University police.

The University officer was placed on paid leave to reflect on the incident, Fitzpatrick said.

“After stressful events, an officer may need time to collect their thoughts,” she said.

Fitzpatrick and Ogle refused to disclose the name of the officer at this time.

Angelina Cole contributed to this report