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Interim Bloomington Police Chief endured controversy in Champaign

Mon, 08 Apr 2013 04:02:43 CDT
By: Jim Browne

Interim Bloomington Police Chief endured controversy in Champaign The new interim police chief in Bloomington left a former post following controversy over police shootings. The group "Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice" pushed for R.T. Finney's removal as police chief there after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in 2009, the shooting of a mentally ill homeless man in 2007, and a dozen other alleged incidents . Finney also kicked a reporter out of a news conference, but relented after pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union. Finney says Bloomington City Manager David Hales was aware of the incidents before hiring Finney as interim chief:

"Well, Mr. Hales asked me about the, and talked to my manager in Champaign as well, about these incidents, so, you know, I am sure that the discussion was had."

Finney says some of the allegations are untrue, and others were investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies. He says he stands by most of the decisions made while chief of the Champaign police, and says the history of misconduct the group alleges in Champaign County predates his time as police chief. Hales refused to comment, deferring to Finney for an explanation.


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