Rockford Police Internal Investigation Justifies Officer Use Of Force During May 30 Protest

Jul 29, 2020

The Rockford Police Department announced that the use of force at a police protest in May was lawful and justified.

 

 

After reviewing 120 hours of video footage and 90 police reports, the Rockford Police Department concluded that its use of pepper spray, tear gas and less lethal munitions during the May 30th protest were within proper procedure.

Mayor Tom McNamara said the decision was unanimous.

"Both the Response to Resistance Review Board and the Winnebago County State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross agreed that all actions they've reviewed were legally justified," he said. "This does not stop us from learning from our experiences and working to improve."

Hite Ross announced that her office has pressed charges on 10 indivuals, which she estimated was just 3% of the approximately 300 protestors present at the protest.

The protest against police brutality came after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The decision comes after nearly two months of consistent protests by local activists calling for the lifting of all charges on 10 arrested protestors.

The mayor also announced that none of the 120 hours of video footage reviewed by the Police Department will be publicly available until "it is it appropriate to do so.”  

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for Americaan initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.