Interview Transcript: Police Complaint Against 10/19/2020

The Democratic Women of McDonough County submitted a complaint to Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker about the behavior of Macomb Police Detective XXXXXXXX for his anti-BLM protestor posts on his wall of his tactical equipment site.

“The staff of our department is committed to providing our residents and visitors with effective and efficient policing services that enhance their quality of life and keep Macomb a great place to live, work, or visit.

The Macomb Police Department will form partnerships through open lines of communication and cooperation to continually identify the needs and concerns within our community while collectively developing strategies to solve these concerns or issues.

My philosophy for the department is that no call for our services will ever be too small and that we will provide police service to the community in the same manner and at the same level we expect other law enforcement agencies to deliver police services to members of our own families.

We welcome your input and suggestions. In the near future we will be undertaking new initiatives to ensure that we remain responsive to the community needs and continue to be at the forefront of modern policing. Our employees are professional and well trained. They are committed to making our department the finest police department in the country on your behalf.” – Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker, on the Macomb Police Department’s website


We submitted a complaint to the Macomb Police Department to see how the complaint process works, how community members can expect to be treated by the MPD Leadership, and how the department responds to complaints.

  • Process is not trauma-informed, nor are accommodations agreed to upheld, such as being able to speak without interruption
  • Deputy Burnham tries to claim Ms. McMeekan can only speak for herself, which is inaccurate; furthermore, it is an abusive tactic used to create a sense of isolation in a complainant. That these tactics are being used against a law-abiding citizen bringing concerns of multiple people to the Police Leadership’s attention says much about the departmental culture.
  • Deputy Burnham repeatedly calls Ms. McMeekan by her first name, “Heather” which is disrespectful, especially given the manner and tone in which he addresses her; later he calls Dr. Rutledge by her first name, and dismisses her remark about being cold in the room
  • Requiring them to meet in the small interview room during COVID violates pandemic distancing guidelines, putting Ms. McMeekan and Dr. Rutledge at potential risk
  • Deputy Chief Burnham misunderstands or misrepresents the 1st Amendment
  • Deputy Chief Burnham repeatedly, persistently interrupts Ms. McMeekan

Thank you to Allen “Max” Axelrod for his analysis.

Redacted Transcript of the video

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