URBANA – Illinois Newsroom held a complex and sometimes spirited discussion over the history and future of police and policing in Central Illinois. The following people participated in a 90-minute discussion on Facebook live event on July 23 to discuss their views and visions for the future.:
- Tatianna Ammons, community activist & Champaign County Board 11 candidate
- Anthony Cobb, Champaign police chief
- Deb Feinen, mayor of Champaign
- Dustin Heuerman, Champaign County sheriff
- Tariq Khan, history scholar, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Diane Marlin, mayor of Urbana
- Naomi Paik, associate professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Evelyn Reynolds, associate professor of sociology at Parkland Community College and Black Lives Matter Champaign-Urbana chapter founder
The discussion was moderated by Reginald Hardwick, Director of News and Public Affairs at Illinois Public Media.
The event led off with a video produced by NPR called History of Policing: How Did We Get Here? The short presentation discussed how different styles of law enforcement in the northern and southern United States have helped contain communities of color from slavery until the 21st century.
The panel also addressed law enforcement in schools, budgets for local police departments, use of the deadly force and taking away resources and power from police departments. Illinois Newsroom received more than 300 comments and questions for panelists through Facebook and text messages.