Rock Island County Sheriff Gerry Bustos released a 14-point document Friday entitled “Where We Stand.”
The four-page virtual presentation outlined 14 questions from the Rock Island NAACP and a Rock Island-based group called “The Resolution” developed in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. The choke-hold killing of Floyd inspired waves of protest and dialogue between community leaders and the police.
The responses to those 14 questions came from the police chiefs of Silvis, East Moline, Moline, Rock Island, Milan, as well as the Rock Island Sheriff’s Department.
The document is a work product from what has been called the Quad Cities Law Enforcement Group, which includes ranking police officers, the mayors of each Illinois-side city, and Rock Island County Board Chairman Richard Brunk.
In a news release Bustos said “ … everyone is working together to address police reform and community justice.”
The 14 points from the QCLEG document covers a number of questions like: de-escalation tactics, banning the use of all choke holds, the duty of fellow officers to intervene, policies regarding shooting at moving vehicles, limiting the use of force, exhausting other avenues before the use of deadly force, verbal warnings, reporting the use of force, cultural bias training, and issues officer hiring and de-certification.
The document resembles a 14-point document released by the Davenport Police Department June 12, available here: https://cityofdavenportiowa.com/cms/one.aspx?portalId=6481456&pageId=16805356
The documents differ in two notable areas. While Davenport’s “Where We Stand” addressed issues related to body cameras, “smart policing,” a public safety partnership and explaining there is no “quota system” for arrests, QCLEG’s document highlights the request for all new officers to perform a minimum of 100 hours of community service.
The law enforcement’s response notes volunteerism is emphasized by each department. The chiefs also asked about the possible of compensating officers for their volunteers' time, and they note that procedure could cost each city $80,000 to support the program.
QCLEG’s document ends with a request that local first-responder units recruit in disenfranchised areas and at least 25% to 50% of police forces be people of color.
The chiefs pointed out hiring is by civilian boards in all of the cities, and asked for help in recruitment. The group also said “ … 25% to 50% seems to be an arbitrary number that might not reflect the community.” The chiefs also asked how “disenfranchised areas” was defined.
The formation of QCLEG came after a group of about 100 people gathered June 3 outside Second Baptist Church in Rock Island discussing what organizers called the resolution to the problem of national racism and the treatment of African Americans by police.
The Resolution group came out of the meeting, which was sponsored by Moses Robinson, director of the Metropolitan Youth Group in Rock Island, and Thurgood Brooks, an assistant Rock Island High School football coach and political activist and organizer of Chasson Randle’s basketball camp.
During the event, Robinson, Brooks and the Rev. Angelo Julien called on elected officials to do whatever is necessary to combat the systemic racism in the community, nation and in the local police departments.
Among those in the audience were U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois; Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms, East Moline Mayor Reggie Freeman, as well as a number of other local elected officials.