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June 16, 2024

Riverton Police Officer Indicted for Aggravated Battery and Official Misconduct

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On February 21, 2020

Sangamon Co., IL. (ECWd) –

According to a press release issued by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney,


Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright announced today the indictment of Grant D. Peterson on the charges of Aggravated Battery and Official Misconduct. If convicted, Peterson faces up to 5 years in prison. If found guilty of each count, any sentence imposed would be concurrent with other counts.

The indictment alleges that on February 5, 2020, Peterson “made contact of an insulting or provoking nature to Jacob Melton” in that Peterson “grabbed Jacob Melton by the neck and head butted Jacob Melton.” The indictment further alleges that Peterson’s conduct caused “bodily harm” to Melton. The incident was investigated by the Sangamon County Sheriffs Office. Peterson’s bond was set in the amount of $5,000 (10% to apply) which was posted this afternoon and he is, therefore, not in custody.

The public is reminded that an indictment is only a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In consideration of Mr. Peterson’s right to a fair trial, the State’s Attorney’s Office will not comment further about the indictment or related investigation.


Video of this incident was obtained by WAND-TV under the Freedom of Information Act and is posted here with permission. Starting at about the 1:05 mark, you can see Peterson allegedly grabbing victim by the back of the neck while the female officer conveniently turns away to not see what is happening, and does not look back until after the alleged headbutting:

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  • Sal Tessio
    Posted at 10:11h, 21 February Reply

    Yeah, that cop deserves to be on the other side of the badge.

  • Jim
    Posted at 13:12h, 21 February Reply

    I gota be honest, it’s hard to make the call without the audio. Did the man say something offensive in front of the lady, idk? It looked to me like a slight attitude adjustment that seemed to work. I don’t see anything to get in a twist about.

    • Paul K.
      Posted at 01:05h, 22 February Reply

      I read the story and cringed reviewing the video.
      I can bring myself no further.

  • Paul K
    Posted at 13:47h, 21 February Reply

    Looks like the head butt was ranky retaliation to the handcuffed hands gesture and whatever verbal banter was in the air. Clearly the ‘look away’ during delivery was coordinated. Staged Riverton Police violence exposed.

  • Dennis P Finegan
    Posted at 17:01h, 21 February Reply

    Shouldn’t matter what he said. Nothing gives police the right to abuse prisoners.

  • anonymous
    Posted at 13:30h, 22 February Reply

    Same song different verse!

    “Judge’s scathing words for Allentown police over violent arrest caught on video: ‘You perjured yourself,’ ‘disgusting blue line’

    Lehigh County Judge Maria L. Dantos had scathing words for Allentown police and the Lehigh County district attorney’s office after a man whose violent 2018 arrest was captured on a video that went viral was acquitted of all charges Friday morning.

    Dantos told the man, John Perez, that he was justified in protecting himself after an officer forcefully shoved him, and said she was “disgusted” by what she heard on officers’ body cam videos.

    “For not the first time in recent history I became ashamed. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of the officers and their conduct and their words and actions, and I was ashamed of the office I spent 17 years in that they would bring this prosecution.

    “You chose to, instead, put on display police officers calling people p——, b——, threatening to shoot a dog, forming your disgusting blue line of four officers who turned their backs and said they saw nothing.

    The judge called out the police officers’ conduct during the arrest and subsequent trial.

    “You perjured yourselves. You escalated a situation without cause. Cops smirking on the stand at this jury, laughing at the defense attorney, high-fiving in the hallway after testimony as if there were something, anything, to be proud of here.

    “You, officer Lebron, shoved Mr. Perez because you were mad, period. And then you got up on the stand and told that jury that you were just trying to make some space. That is not what happened.

    “Nine officers, most of the night shift, pulling cars from other areas of the city because you lost it. That’s what happened. You lost it. Over nothing. Because someone was talking to you in a manner you didn’t like? No crime. You serve them.”

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