Rockford’s Board of Fire and Police Commissioners voted unanimously to dismiss a formal complaint against the city’s police chief.
Commissioners found no probable cause to proceed to an evidentiary hearing over a formal complaint alleging that Police Chief Daniel O’Shea violated policy by showing bias and discrimination.
The complaint arose over a comment O’Shea made in May during a news conference.
O’Shea said, “The 16, 17-year-olds running around shooting each other, we’re not wasting our time trying to save them. They are lost. We’re trying to focus on 4 or 5-year-olds all the way up to 12 or 13, where we have a chance at saving them, changing their lives and changing the direction they are going in it.”
Aija Penix wrote the complaint. She says the dismissal didn’t surprise her and that her fight is long from over.
"What comes next as we move to the next level of accountability, and now we have to hold the commissioners accountable," said Penix. "And now we have to hold the mayor accountable because the people that he appointed to hold the police chief accountable are not doing so."
O’Shea stated his comments were misinterpreted. He pointed to several youth programs as evidence that he and the department are providing resources to support older teens.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms