Requiring Body Cameras for Joliet Police Department Officers

Requiring Body Cameras for Joliet Police Department Officers

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Cody Schaff started this petition to Mayor Bob O'Dekirk

In the world today, it is very difficult to obtain a healthy police, and citizen relationship in many states, and cities due to the substantial lawsuits, and videos released of police committing unjustified acts of crime, and pure prejudice on innocent civilians of the United States of America. In many cases, this causes a feeling of distrust between the civilians and police officers of the United States. In the past year alone, there has been 989 people killed by law enforcement officers (as of 1/2/2021). Most recently in Joliet, 19 year old Joseph Casten of Naperville, Illinois was tragically murdered by Joliet police officer Tyler Bales on December 22nd, 2020, 3 days before Christmas.

The officer was responding to a call which has been claimed by Joliet Police Department was made by Joseph, but no evidence, or call records have been released to the public regarding the call. The victim was said to have been carrying a Semi-Automatic BB gun, and was allegedly threatening to open fire on officers on scene, Joseph was shot a numerous amount of times, and unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Many people could say that the amount of shots fired us unnecessary, and brings up the questions of what actually happened that night, at around 6:30 PM. Sadly enough, there will be no answers to this indefinite question, due to the negligence of the Joliet Police Department, and their continuous fight to prevent officers from wearing Body Camera devices.

Joliet Police Department is one of the largest police departments in the Midwest that have not established body camera devices, according to the Joliet Patch. Although in 2020, this is not the only mysterious event that has involved a civilian and a Joliet police officer. On January 28th, 2020, Joliet resident Eric Lurry was brutally murdered by multiple JPD officers while in police custody. Luckily in this scenario, there was 4 hours of police vehicle footage of the event unfolding, only to be released some five months later. This included suspicion of Lurry trying to swallow drugs. Then, police grabbed the neck, plugged the nose of the victim, and continued to spur rude statements such as “Hey, wake up, b---, let’s get it over” according to CBS. After 16 minutes of the video, the audio suddenly cuts out, which then displays a message claiming the audio stopped for “some reason” and is being investigated, according to CBS as well. Eventually, officers are seen putting a baton into Lurry’s mouth, while clearly unconscious, claimed to be an act used while a drug overdose is suspected, due to biting occurring suddenly when overdose does occur. After 4 minutes, Lurry is seen being taken out of the car, and CPR is preformed. Sadly, Lurry had also succumbed to his injuries and passed away upon arrival to the hospital he was dispatched to.

This raises questions, and a general fear of police officers in nearby areas, and in Joliet. The Joliet police decided to use their annual budget to replace tasers, rather than ensure the safety, and information to the community when a suspicious act is preformed by the Joliet Police Department. Which is where I propose that the Joliet Police Department should do the correct thing in these troubling times, by establishing body cameras, and requiring them to be worn on all patrols, and calls, in the future. The community needs to regain its relationship with the police. Nobody should be scared to leave their home, or to drive around in Joliet, due to police suspicion. 

You may ask yourself, what will this change? This answer is simple, this will add extra steps to ensure that both civilians, and police officers are being accountable for their actions, and to ensure that there is not any underground things going on within the City of Joliet. With a population of of 148,227 (source World Population Review) there needs to be some sort of video recording, or evidence, in case there is an example of injustice in the police department. Many families, and loved ones are being left with no closure, or answers to determine what happened the time leading to their loved ones tragic ending. It is our job as humans to make sure that we can get answers for the things that occur in our lives. Which is why I ask you all to please support, and sign this petition in order help our society come together, and have a sense of information, and accountability towards law enforcement in our area.

 

 

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