Bloomington, IL (ECWd) -
To grasp the magnitude of this chain of events, please first watch my public comment to the Bloomington City Council back in September of 2019.
We informed them we would get to the bottom of the matter but rather than providing the requested records and truth to what happened, the City chose the path of obstruction.
When you have to file a Freedom of Information lawsuit against a public body to get to the truth you know it's time for people to resign from office. Mayor Renner should be the first in that line.
Records received indicate an attempt to conceal the wrongdoing of a former officer that includes altering an arrest record by adding information that was not true. At the time of the incident, the Assistant Chief filed a formal complaint on the bad cop and properly investigated, only to have the City try to conceal the records from the public eye. We believe he should have faced charges.
Timeline of events:
August 28, 2019, we FOIA’d the city of Bloomington for the following.
- Copies of all complaints filed against Officer Curtis Squires in the last 5 years.
- Copies of all discipline reports filed against Officer Curtis Squires in the last 5 years.
- Copies of all emails that make reference to Officer Curtis Squires in the last 5 years.
September 13, 2019, we FOIA’d the City of Bloomington for the following.
- Copy of the last 12 months of emails with the officer's name - Squires or his badge number. These emails are not limited to those of officer Squires but are to include all emails within the city email system that contains his name and badge number.
- A copy of any termination notice for Offices Squires
- A copy of any termination/separation/resignation agreement entered into by Officers Squires and the city
Mayor Renner claimed the officer's departure was nothing more than a typical resignation and that our FOIA requests were denied because it was a personnel matter and claims that is the law. He could not be more wrong. He went on the radio a day or two after our presentation making this claim and implied we are nothing but liars/troublemakers. The local Radio host who interviewed the Mayor on this has ignored all my requests for a copy of the September 25, 2019 Podcast - The link below is for the radio host page but they have not answered any email requests. While we and others heard the above points, the Podcast is no longer online? This is the ONE TIME I failed to capture a key piece of the story. Now it appears to be stripped from the website. https://www.wjbc.com/podcasts/scott-miller-katherine-murphy-podcasts/
October 1, 2019, we FOIA’d the City of Bloomington for the following.
- Copies of all documents related to an internal or external investigation of former Bloomington Police Department Officer Curtis Squires in the last year. This would include, but not limited to, investigations pertaining to potential discipline or other civil/criminal actions of Officer Squires
On October 1, 2019, we published the first article on the matter.
On October 23, 2019, I addressed the city council on the matter.
- November 26, 2019, we filed suit against the city to obtain the records the city denied existed or claimed were exempt.
- December 12, 2019, we FOIA’d Copies of all documents related to an internal or external investigation of former Bloomington Police Department Officer Curtis Squires in the last year. This would include, but not limited to, investigations pertaining to potential discipline or other civil/criminal actions of Officer Squires
- June 1, 2020, I signed our agreed settlement in the FOIA case as they produced the records they originally claimed they did not have and or were exempt.
- We captured TWO videos of the bogus arrest of a local black man in a Motto Mart. https://youtu.be/NQ4c8mAieiw and https://youtu.be/uOlIDvAeibU
- Videos obtained as a result of our lawsuit can be downloaded at this link.
Why did Officer Squires arrest the person in question?
He was arrested for pointing his finger in a shooting motion at the officer. Not only is that not an arrestable offense, but it's also not grounds to detain a person since there was no reasonable suspicion of a criminal act. Reading the 34-page investigation report it is clear there were no grounds for the arrest.
Once it became clear the arrest report had huge holes, it was altered to include a claim of assault for an alleged head-butt. There is zero evidence this happen and in fact, the investigation appears to confirm it was a fabricated incident placed in the report in what appears to be for the purpose of covering up the fact it was a bogus stop, to begin with.
"At no point during this video can I observe any attempted head-butt from Khalil Muhanunad towards Officer Squires." (See page 17-18)
I asked Officer Squires if there was anything about the attempted headbutt in the original report which was disapproved. Officer Squires stated, "it wasn't in my original report". (Read pages 20-35)
The report reflects 5 allegations of misconduct by Officer Squires.
- Rule 1-1 Attention to Duties
- Rule 1-3 Conduct Unbecoming an Officer
- Rule 2-1 Familiarization
- Rule 3-2 Making False Report
- Rule 6-3 Furnishing Name
Reading the entire investigation report it is clear the Mayor mislead the public with the matter and rather than be open and transparent he caused thousands of dollars in legal expense trying to suppress the evidence from disclosure.
We knew when we spoke there was a coverup going on and looking at the dates on the reports we now know officials within the City knew of the event.
So what happened to an officer that records point to having fabricated facts and altered a report to support his desire of charges on a man of color?
He resigned before action was taken against him and never faced any charges for his actions and some would say actually rewarded as he landed a job with the County working security after his resignation from the City.
While we understand Mayor Renner is not running again, we believe he should resign immediately for the coverup of what appears from the records to be a dirty cop who allegedly fabricated evidence against a citizen of the City of Bloomington.
Unfortunately, none of the mainstream media we shared this information with had an interest in this story even after all the heavy lifting was completed.
A copy of the investigation report can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.