Hundreds protest Barmore shooting
By Jim Hagerty, Staff Writer
Hundreds gathered outside the Rockford Public Safety Building late this morning, in protest of the shooting death of Mark Anthony Barmore, 23, killed by police inside a downtown church and day care center Monday.
Officers discharged their weapons after Barmore allegedly attempted to gain control of an officer’s gun. The shooting occurred after Barmore fled from police on unrelated charges.
Protestors held signs reading “Stop Paying A Murderer” and “Peace Now.” The crowd then marched from public safety headquarters north on Court Street toward Kingdom Authority International Ministries Church, 518 N. Court St., the site of the shooting.
As the march, which also made a stop through Rockford City Hall, progressed, protesters chanted “We want justice,” “He had his hands up” and “He was surrendering in the house of the Lord.”
Police officials, including Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson, said Barmore, who has an extensive criminal record of violent crimes, would not surrender when ordered by officers, Oda Poole, 37 and Stanton North, 47.
“Officers Poole and North attempted to get Mr. Barmore out of [a] closet, Epperson said. “A struggle ensued between Officer Poole and Mr. Barmore. Officer Poole struggled with Mr. Barmore over his service weapon, and officers Poole and North both discharged their weapons.”
At least two witnesses claimed Barmore was shot as he slowly moved toward the officers with his hands up, complying with their orders.
Early reports said Barmore was shot as many as nine times. Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia would not confirm the number of gunshot wounds she found, however, she said it was less than nine.
As protesters moved up Court Street, some accused Epperson of lying about how the shooting occurred.
“There was no damned struggle,” Karl Jackson said. “[Barmore] was surrendering. When is this going to stop? Kids are getting killed.”
After gathering in front of the church, protesters moved the march into the sanctuary, where many prayed, while others called for the removal of Poole and North from the police force.
Poole, a five-year veteran, is a decorated officer, having received a Law Enforcement Medal of Honor for his role in the rescue of people trapped inside a burning building. North has been on the force for more than 20 years.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave.
Several Rockford Police officers were on the scene directing traffic. No arrests were reported.
For Photos CLICK HERE.
Print This Article