Rockford, IL – A Rockford church is suing the City of Rockford for a 2009 shooting when police officers chased a black male theft suspect into their church. The suspect, Mark Anthony Barmoor was running from police when he attempted to hide in a boiler room.
According to police reports, there was a struggle for an officer’s gun, and the suspect was shot four times.
At the time, the incident caused numerous marches and protests, which were said to be peaceful.
However, the churches daycare and preschool, which used to have enrollement of 150 children, is now down to 50 kids and struggles to stay afloat.
Pastor Melvin Brown states the church is suing the city because staff and students were emotionally distraught and damaged, and the church daycare center was damaged.
According to RRstar.com:
“Brown said he had hoped the city would have settled, at least with the children and their families, to save them the pain of reliving Barmore’s shooting. He said the lawsuit is threatening to rip open old wounds as the Rockford City Council has declined so far to settle with the children, the Brown family or the church.
The lawsuit seeks compensation from the city for the emotional distress suffered by the children and day care operators who were present during the shooting, and the loss of revenue to the church after the shooting.
Rockford in December 2014 settled a $1.1 million wrongful death lawsuit with the Barmore estate without admitting any wrongdoing.
No money went to the children who were in the day care at the time of the shooting, the Brown family or the church. Poole and North weren’t involved in the settlement, maintaining that they acted properly during the incident.
After an investigation by the Cook County Integrity Task Force, the Illinois State Police and the Winnebago County state’s attorney, a Winnebago County Grand Jury did not indict the officers, and authorities determined the shooting a justified use of force. The officers were never charged with a crime.
A March 2010 Independent Assessment and Monitoring LLP report commissioned by the city found the officers used poor tactics that put the lives of the officers, the suspect and children at risk.
Both officers were initially named as defendants in the lawsuit, but have since been dropped. Their countersuit claiming that Melvin Brown had defamed them was dismissed.”
The lawsuit against the city of Rockford — filed on behalf of children present at the time of the shooting, a day care worker and the Brown family — seeks unspecified compensation for reckless infliction of emotional distress. Some of the plaintiffs also say police held them against their will for questioning after the shooting.