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Civil suit alleges Chief Finney killed Carrington

This story is a collaboration between the UC-IMC and Smile Politely.

A civil suit filed on October 6 raises new questions about who shot Kiwane Carrington on October 9, 2009. The complaint (download the pdf here), filed on behalf of Jeshaun Manning-Carter and his mother, Laura Manning, alleges that Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney, and not Officer Daniel Norbits, “fired a shot downward into the chest of Kiwane Carrington, killing Carrington.” The suit charges the City of Champaign and Finney with “intentional infliction of emotional distress” on Manning-Carter.

Alfred Ivy, attorney for the plaintiff, stated, “He [Manning-Carter] didn’t want to talk about it for a long time; he wasn’t comfortable talking about it.”

The allegation that Finney pulled the trigger is a direct contradiction of officers’ sworn statements and the findings of the Illinois State Police investigation into the incident. Visit the Kiwane Carrington Timeline site for all the public documents associated with the investigation.

“I’m just an employee [of the plaintiff],” Ivy explained. “I don’t tell people what to say. I do ask lots of questions, and [Manning-Carter] was adamant that it didn’t happen the way that the report said it did.”

Manning-Carter was the only other person present with Carrington in the backyard of the home at 906 W. Vine St. in Champaign when Chief Finney and Officer Norbits were called to investigate a reported attempted burglary. Manning-Carter was initially charged with Aggravated Resisting a Peace Officer; those charges were dismissed on April 13, 2010.

The civil suit filed by Carrington’s family against the City of Champaign has been settled, James D. Montgomery, Jr., attorney for the Carrington family, confirmed this morning.

A detailed ballistics report was not part of the investigation, although the ISP firearms report assigns the fired cartridge to Norbits’ gun. “All evidence in the case is currently in the possession of the FBI. C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice and the local Ministerial Alliance have filed complaints with the Department of Justice and are waiting for the results of their investigation,” said Brian Dolinar of CUCPJ.

(Ed. note: if you read the pdf of the complaint, Count II and Count III both charge Chief Finney with intentional infliction of emotional distress. After speaking with Ivy, it’s our understanding that Norbits is intended to be the defendant for Count III.)

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