City denounces Barmore flier
From press release
City officials are denouncing a one-page flier referencing the officer involved in the Aug. 24, 2009, shooting incident of Mark Anthony Barmore.
The document, according to the city, contains false and inflammatory comments.
Barmore was shot and killed Aug. 24, 2009, after attempting to flee and hide from police in a storage room inside the basement of House of Grace Learning Center inside Kingdom Authority International Ministries Church, 518 N. Court St., Rockford. Barmore was 23.
City officials have called upon state and federal officials to investigate the flier to determine what, if any, criminal laws may have been violated in connection with the documents.
City officials have also asked, through legal representatives in the civil litigation involving the matter, that supporters of Barmore join in denouncing the document.
Contrary to suggestions made in the flier, the officers involved in the shooting were cleared of any criminal charges. The matter was investigated by the State Police and Cook County Public Integrity Unit, presented to a Winnebago County grand jury, and reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney, who refused to charge the officers. The use of force by the officers involved in the incident were found to be justified by the grand jury.
Police Chief Chet Epperson said: “The statements in the flier are outrageous, absolutely wrong, and absolutely malicious. Our officers serve with great integrity and effort and endure significant risks on behalf of our community.
“The flier runs contrary to our transparent, open and honest assessment of our organization,” Epperson added. “Our goal is to promote healing, understanding and a safer community.”
The city is conducting an administrative review of the shooting. This review will examine policies, practices and actions of the Rockford Police Department. The review is being conducted by Independent Assessment and Monitoring, LLC.
Additionally, the police department is working with the Department of Justice, Community Relations Mediation Service, to support positive police-community relations.
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) said: “We have made great strides in building a community-oriented police department. The false claims in the flier promote hatred instead of healing and have no place in our community.”
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