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CUCPJ holds press conference; Rietz expected to release report today (UPDATE)

Several local radio stations (WDWS and WILL, at least) are reporting this morning that State’s Attorney Julia Rietz is expected to meet with the family of Kiwane Carrington today to let them know whether or not she will proceed with criminal charges toward the Champaign Police Department officers involved in his shooting death.

UPDATE: WCIA is reporting (via Twitter and Facebook) that “City of Champaign Officials, along with community representatives, will hold a news conference to respond to the release of the Vine Street Incident Report by State’s Attorney, Julia Reitz. 1:30 p.m. in Champaign City Council Chambers.” Rietz is also scheduled to take calls from the community on WDWS’ (1400 AM) “Penny for Your Thoughts” tomorrow at 10 a.m. H/T to reader Matt.

After that meeting, they also reported, Rietz is expected to release the Illinois State Police report on the investigation into the events that led to Carrington’s death.

Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice held a press conference at the Independent Media Center yesterday afternoon to call for a special prosecutor in the case. The N-G’s coverage of that press conference is here. Video of the press conference is below, provided by the U-C IMC:

The text of the statement from CUCPJ and more UCIMC coverage of the press conference is here. Below are a couple of excerpts from that statement:

We at Champaign Urbana Citizens For Peace and Justice and the Family of Kiwane Carrington are here today to state clearly that the current investigation into the death of Kiwane Carrington, and any decisions based on this investigation, are invalid because the process to determine what happened in October 9th, 2009 that resulted in the shooting death of 5 year old Kiwane Carrington appears contaminated.

In order for the community to have complete confidence in the fairness of the investigation – both to the officers involved and to the victims of this tragedy – and in order for all to believe this investigation was thorough and pursued all relevant information, the citizens of Champaign County must have the Department of Justice Department of Criminal Investigation assume responsibility for the gathering of facts regarding actions taken by all parties.

Also, we insist that a special prosecutor outside of Champaign County be assigned to evaluate such an investigation.

First off, the subjects of the Illinois State Police investigation, Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney and Champaign Police Officer Daniel Norbits, have been allowed to remain on duty during the time of this investigation, contaminating the investigation.

Secondly, the public can not trust the objectivity and independence of the Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team that is assisting the Illinois State Police.

Composed of Rantoul, Champaign County, University of Illinois, and City of Urbana police officers, this local team cannot be considered independent of the Champaign Police Department.

Rietz responded in the N-G report:

“It is disappointing to me that these individuals have such strong opinions about an investigation they have not even seen,” Rietz said. “All the interviews that were conducted were recorded. All the evidence was properly preserved. All aspects of the investigation were conducted by investigators who have an ethical obligation to this community and the law. It is outrageous to suggest we would violate our ethical obligations as has been suggested by these individuals.”

As more information becomes available, we’ll be linking to it in the SPlog and likely providing some commentary.

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