Bloomington settles misconduct case, residents speak out about transit

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The Bloomington City Council has decided to not go to federal court for a lawsuit filed against them and several Bloomington Police Officers in 2017.

On Monday the council voted on a $55,000 settlement with Donnelly Jackson and Ashley Burrell, who sued the city over an incident in 2016.

The lawsuit alleged the pair were pulled over for a traffic violation which ended with Jackson being arrested after having been thrown to the ground, tasered and pepper sprayed, suing for nine counts in total.

City Manager Tim Gleason said the city settling does not mean they did not believe they would win the case.

“Dollars and cents do pay into decisions like this it has absolutely no barring of the lack of support that we have for the Bloomington Police Department. It truly came down to, in this instance, to dollars and cents,” Gleason said.

Members of the community also spoke out about what they feel is a lack of diversity on the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. Many who spoke during public comment urged Mayor Tari Renner to appoint people who rely on public transportation when he decides who will fill the two open positions on the board next month.

Renner tells Heart of Illinois ABC he plans on appointing people focused on bringing a transit center to Downtown Bloomington.

“You know the thing is that people ride the transit, know the transit and they have things to contribute. How can you have a transit commission all with people who don’t ride the transit? You don’t even know what to say anymore it’s so bizarre,” Bloomington resident Laurie Bell said.

The board also voted unanimously to make Ward 3 Alderman Mboka Mwilambwe the city’s new Mayor Pro Tem and to allow council members who identify as women to officially refer to themselves as “alderwoman.”

In addition, the city approved the creation of an enterprise zone for Canadian company Brant Enterprises and a special use permit to let residents at properties on East Oakland Avenue keep their chickens.

Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez

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