Local organizations call for Champaign police officer's termination

By Ali Braboy

Local organizations are calling for the termination of Champaign Police Officer Matt Rush in regards to investigations over excessive use of force.

Brian Dolinar, member of the Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice, said some local organizations have come together to get Rush terminated. Along with the Citizens for Peace and Justice, Dolinar said other groups are calling for the termination of Rush, such as the Champaign County NAACP and North End Men’s Breakfast Club, among others.

Dolinar sent out an email stating a press conference will be held at the Champaign Police Department at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday regarding the call for Rush to be terminated.

The email stated Rush “is an immediate threat to the community.” There will be a march from the station to the Champaign City Council meeting following the press conference. The meeting starts at 7 p.m., and the council will be asked to approve a $225,000 settlement to a lawsuit filed by Benjamin Mann against the City of Champaign, naming Rush in the suit. Mann alleges that a Champaign police officer used excessive force on him when he was being arrested on March 16, 2014.

Dolinar said the Citizens for Peace and Justice has been following the actions of Rush for many years. He said the group believes everyone in Champaign County should be concerned with Rush.

He said the groups are calling on the state attorney to prosecute Rush and also for a police review board. He expects between 50-100 people to attend the Champaign City Council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.