Public is encouraged to partner with police when planning events
The Champaign Police Department is continuing its investigation into the incident that occurred at Centennial High School on December 4, 2014 at approximately 2:52 p.m., involving a student protest. A preliminary investigation determined that the student protest started in the school building and then spilled into the street in front of the school on Crescent Drive. As the student protesters moved in the roadway travelling southbound, a vehicle in the northbound lane of traffic came to a complete stop. As the protesters encircled the vehicle, the driver started to drive the vehicle through the protesters. As the vehicle moved approximately three car lengths forward, at least one of the students struck the vehicle’s window with his hand causing damage to the glass. The driver then stopped the vehicle in the street while there were still students near the car.
During the preliminary investigation, Champaign Police identified an 18 year old male student who was responsible for damaging the vehicle, and a 48 year old female who was the driver of the vehicle. At this time, no one has been charged with a violation of the law.
The Police Department is requesting that the public remain patient as a thorough investigation of this incident is conducted. The Department’s investigators and officers have interviewed several students, faculty, the driver and bystanders, and have obtained and reviewed several videos in an effort to reconstruct what took place, as officers were not initially present at the onset of the event. It is anticipated that the investigation will be concluded in the near future. This investigation will be forwarded to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.
The Department continues to ask for the community’s help. Anyone with information, videos, and evidence that would aid in the investigative effort is asked to contact the Police Department at 217-351-4545. Callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS). Information can also be sent by anonymous web tip by going to: www.373tips.com or by texting keyword “CCTIP” plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).
As recent police cases have stirred national protests, some Champaign community members are also engaging in similar activities. Recognizing the local interest by some to plan demonstrations, the Champaign Police Department is encouraging those citizens to partner with the Department to insure a safe and peaceful environment for all participants.
“As people continue to express their First Amendment Rights, I encourage that they do so in a safe, organized, and peaceful manner. I also encourage motorists and bystanders to support the people’s right to assemble, as the Department works to protect people, property, and help foster a safe environment for everyone”, says Anthony Cobb, Champaign Police Chief.
Citizens who want to organize a public demonstration are encouraged to contact the Champaign Police Department prior to the event at (217) 351-4545. Through the City’s Special Event Permit process, provisions can be made to allow citizens to safely use the public right of way. More information regarding Parades and Assemblies can found at https://www.municode.com, Section 24-16, of the City of
Champaign Municipal Code.