This is a public comment submitted to the Macomb City Council on November 2, 2020.
On behalf of the Democratic Women of McDonough County, we’d like to update the community as to the status of the complaint we submitted to the police department. Our meeting was last week, and the transcript and the recording are up on our website.
The complaint process, procedure, and tactics are shockingly outdated, given that many have asked for transparency and fixes for years. The Racial Justice Coalition has explicitly requested fixes to this system now for over a year, yet the process has still not been updated nor even apparently evaluated to ensure adequate protections for the complainant.
There appears to be no guiding structure to ensure a safe, trauma-informed, transparent, shared-interest, respectful discussion. Furthermore, it permits tactics known to be psychologically traumatizing against complainants.
We cannot recommend any community members attempt to use this process in its current form. Protections and trauma-informed measures must be put in place to ensure people will be treated with fairness and respect.
Those with complaints about Macomb police officers can take them directly to the Illinois State Police, the Department of Justice, the Department of Human Rights. You can also state your issues directly on the public record at a city council meeting so your concerns are at least read into the public record.
We have an election tomorrow which likely won’t be decided for several weeks to come. We call for a peaceful election and outcome. We’d like to remind everyone that voter harassment and intimidation is against the law, and those engaging in it will be held accountable. We hope all voters will treat election officials and each other with patience, respect, and attend to distancing and safety. Any problems or concerns can be taken to your party’s poll-watchers, election judges, or the county clerk. Stay in line even after the polls close, and your vote will be counted.
Now that COVID positivity is tracking upwards, we urge those in our community not doing their part to wear their masks, avoid public spaces, and safely distance. It’s time for all to step up and help our public health experts save our hospital from fiscal calamity and more trauma to our health professionals.
We are ALL at risk of COVID harming our health and destroying our local economy with more spreading. Blaming our politicians for the selfishness and ignorance of individuals and businesses not doing their part only prolongs the pandemic. Take personal responsibility, do your part to stop the spread, and all will benefit.
Heather McMeekan, President
Democratic Women of McDonough County