No criminal charges filed against Champaign police officer following shooting

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No criminal charges filed against Champaign police officer following shooting

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

A Champaign Police Department internal investigation found there was no basis for criminal charges against Champaign police officer James Hobson after he shot an unarmed man over the summer.

On June 11, Hobson initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle Dehari Banks was driving. Banks crashed into a residential garage after eluding Hobson for several blocks.

Banks fled on foot after the crash, reached a fenced-in area on the 300 block of North Fourth Street and turned to face Hobson, who drew his duty weapon while coming to a running stop. Hobson reported that as he stopped, his foot slipped on the ground, which caused the accidental discharge of a weapon.

After the incident, the Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team, led by the Illinois State Police, conducted an investigation. After the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office assessed the evidence and investigation findings, it was determined no charges would be filed against Hobson.

Champaign Police Department policy required that an additional investigation be launched, including an evaluation by the Department’s Firearms Discharge Review Board and a final evaluation by Police Chief Anthony Cobb.

This investigation concluded that Hobson’s weapon was not handled with care and thus violated Champaign Police Department Rule 4H: City Property and Equipment — Carrying Firearms.

Following this violation, Hobson was issued an unpaid 10-day suspension on Dec. 1.

Following the initial investigation, Hobson returned to work on Aug. 24 after completing a mandated corrective firearms training.

On Dec. 5, the Champaign City Council authorized a settlement of the personal injury claim filed by Banks, who was issued a settlement amount of $93,000.

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