Rockford Police Union calls for independent investigation - – Rockford’s News Leader

Police Union wants independent review of incident with Rockford chief

Lloyd Johnston, Rockford chapter of the NAACP. Lloyd Johnston, Rockford chapter of the NAACP.
Address officers were called to for domestic welfare check. Address officers were called to for domestic welfare check.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson

What started as a routine officer call prompts the Rockford Police union to ask for an independent investigation. Questions won't go away about whether the officers or the chief acted correctly during a domestic welfare check a few weeks ago.

13 News told you about the situation which involved the Rockford Police chief and a community civil rights leader. That started an internal investigation within the city. But the police union says more needs to be done.

"We believe that it has taken on a life of it's own internally and externally from the department," says Terry Peterson, PBPA president.

That's why the Rockford Police union president wants the mayor and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to do an independent investigation into what happened on October 30th. In an report written by police Officer D'evyron Boone. He says they were called to Lloyd Johnston's home on the city's northwest side. He's the president for the Rockford chapter of the NAACP. The officer were called there for a welfare check on Johnston's 24-year-old son. Officer Boone says Johnston would not let them in and would not bring his son to the door.

"Mr. Johnston described Officer Boone's conduct as unprofessional, hostile and adversarial. Your response?" asked a reporter.

"I wasn't there again, that's what we want an independent investigation," says Peterson.

Instead Officer Boone writes Johnston called Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson on his call phone and put the chief on speak. That's when officers heard Epperson say "Don't let them in and tell them to leave" and that a supervisor would come to the house. The union believes the officers actions were correct but would not comment on the chief's actions but says they need to be scrunitized.

"The chief of police is involved in this to the extent is he either a witness or a focus of it," says Peterson.

The city has said there is internal investigation into this incident but Chief Epperson is not the focus. The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners says there is a formal process to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and so far that process has not been undertaken by the police union.

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