BREAKING NEWS: Victim in 6th St Shooting in Springfield, Illinois has died; Now being investigated as a homicide

2300 S. 6th St., Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – Yesterday, Thursday February 25, 2021, around 1:20 p.m., Springfield Police responded to the 2300 block of S. 6th St. for a male victim who was shot in the alley.

The victim was transported to St. John’s Hospital and was pronounced deceased at 12:35 a.m., today Friday, February 26, 2021.

According to Sangamon County Coroner, Jim Allmon, the victim was identified as Timothy Swope Jr., 36, of Springfield.

An autopsy was done today and preliminary results indicate Mr. Swope died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The death is under investigation by the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office and the Springfield Police Department.

Springfield Police Officer arrested and accused by several women of Sexual Acts while being detained

Taylor N. Staff, age 26

Springfield, Illinois – A Springfield police officer has been arrested and charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office after three women have accused him of sexual acts.

According to preliminary documentation that was submitted to us, Springfield Police Officer, Taylor Staff, was arrested after an investigation by the Illinois State Police.

According to the documents we received, On January 26, 2020, Staff, sexually assaulted a woman, who was unable to give consent, by placing his finger on her vagina. In addition, prosecutors say that the victim was detained when he put his hands down her pants and touched her vagina.

Then between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, Staff returned to the scene of a domestic battery, without being called, and propositioned himself to the victim. Staff wanted the victim to expose herself to him, according to prosecutors.

Another incident Staff has been charged with occurred on April 21, 2020. A woman reported that while she was detained, Staff put his penis inside her vagina. The woman, who was a victim of domestic battery, also told police that Staff demanded sex in exchange for returning her home.

At this time, Staff is currently in the Sangamon County Jail. He has been charged with: Criminal Sexual Assault, a class 1 felony, 2 counts of Custodial Sexual Misconduct, a class 3 felony, and 3 counts of Official Misconduct, a class 3 felony.

His bond has been set at $250,000, but he will need to post 10 percent ($25,000), in order to be released.

According to the Springfield Police Department, Staff has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

17 year old victim fatally shot on Enterprise St in Springfield identified

Malachi Williams – Age 17

Springfield, Illinois – On Thursday, February 18, 2021, around 2:05 p.m., Sangamon County Sheriff’s responded to the 2200 block of E. Enterprise St., for reports of 20-30 shots fired and two victim injured.

According to reports, two 17 year old victims were shot. One victim, who was found in the middle of the road, had multiple gun shot wounds to the back, and another victim was reported as having a gun shot wound to their head.

Today, Sangamon County Coroner, Jim Allmon, has identified one of the 17 year old male’s who was fatally shot on East Enterprise Street on February 18, 2021.

Malachi Williams, 17, of Springfield was pronounced dead at HSHS St. John’s Hospital as an inpatient on February 20, 2021 at 2:55pm.

An Autopsy was done today and preliminary results indicate Mr. Williams died from a gunshot wound.

The death is under investigation by the Sangamon County Coroner and the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office.

At this time, a 16 year old suspect is in custody.

More to come, stay tuned to Springfield Leaks.

Coroner: 17 year old victim shot on Enterprise St in Springfield has died

2200 Block of E. Enterprise St., in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – On Thursday, February 18, 2021, around 2:05 p.m., Sangamon County Sheriff’s responded to the 2200 block of E. Enterprise St., for reports of 20-30 shots fired and two victim injured.

According to reports, two 17 year old victims were shot. One victim, who was found in the middle of the road, had multiple gun shot wounds to the back, and another victim was reported as having a gun shot wound to their head.

Today, Sangamon County Coroner, Jim Allmon, has confirmed the death of one of the victims.

The 17 year old male was pronounced dead today at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, as an inpatient, at 2:55pm.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning and the identity of the deceased is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

At this time, Sangamon County Sheriff, Jack Campbell, has confirmed to Springfield Leaks that there is a 16 year old who is in custody. He has not yet been formally charged by the Sangamon County States Attorney’s Office according to records.

22 y/o Decatur man identified as the fatal shooting victim at an early morning party in Springfield, Illinois

Carlos Dozier – Age 22

Springfield, Illinois – The Sangamon County Coroner, Jim Allmon, has identified the deceased individual brought in to HSHS St. John’s Hospital emergency room early this morning from the shooting at a party located at South 11th Street and East South Grand Avenue in Springfield.

Carlos Dozier, 22, of Decatur, Illinois was pronounced dead at 3:02 a.m., this morning by hospital staff.

An autopsy was performed this morning and preliminary results show Mr. Dozier died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The death is being investigated by the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office and the Springfield Police Department.

In addition to Mr. Dozier being shot, 4 other victims were treated for gunshot wounds as a result of the early morning shooting.

Ward 2 Alderman Shawn Gregory also released the following statement regarding this tragic event. He said, “The senseless violence in our community must come to an end. It’s sad when other lives are in danger with careless acts. There is a great responsibility with hosting parties and it must be done right and when it is not we have seen continued issues. While I am a big fan for fun and good times for us all; it has to be done safely. I recognize the need to take action and make changes regarding dangerous and unwanted situations in our community. We will keep our communities safe for all to enjoy!”

At this time, no arrests have been reported.

BREAKING: 1 dead and several people shot at a party on South Grand Ave in Springfield, Illinois

1100 South Grand Ave., in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – Today, around 2:30 a.m., Springfield Police, along with numerous local and county police agencies, responded to the 1100 block of South Grand Ave for reports of a shooting and multiple victims shot.

According to initial reports, one victim was reported as critical and another victim was reported as shot in the leg. There was also a third victim, who’s injuries were not immediately reported.

All three victim’s were reported as going to St. John’s Hospital.

Shortly after, a red vehicle, brought a fourth victim to St. John’s Hospital, who’s injuries were reported as a gun shot wound to his leg.

Another victim, the fifth victim, showed up to the Women’s and Children’s Center at St. John’s hospital. Her injury was a gunshot wound to the buttocks.

An additional two victims also showed up to Memorial Medical Center and told staff that they cut themselves, but the staff called police and reported that it appeared to be gunshot wounds. After further investigation it was revealed that they cut themselves on glass and that it was related to the shooting incident.

Around 3:02 a.m., one of the trauma victims was reported as dead, according to a Springfield Police Officer.

Ward 2 Alderman Shawn Gregory also released the following statement regarding this tragic event. He said, “The senseless violence in our community must come to an end. It’s sad when other lives are in danger with careless acts. There is a great responsibility with hosting parties and it must be done right and when it is not we have seen continued issues. While I am a big fan for fun and good times for us all; it has to be done safely. I recognize the need to take action and make changes regarding dangerous and unwanted situations in our community. We will keep our communities safe for all to enjoy!”
~Alderman Gregory

There was no immediate word on suspect(s). Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for further updates.

OP-ED: Symbols are powerful; The Thin-Blue-Line has no place on the police cruisers that were purchased using taxpayer dollars

Opinion Piece by John H. Keating II

Opinion Piece by John H. Keating II – Symbols are powerful. Many have long, storied histories and have become embedded in American culture. They become larger than life; a legend unto themselves, but the issue is that legends often only contain a smattering of reality.

The Thin Blue Line, as well as American flags with the symbol emblazoned, have become points of contention in cities across America. The conversations began en masse after nationwide protests in response to the murder of George Floyd. From there it spread to more cities after domestic terrorists were seen waving the flag/the symbol as they attempted an insurrection at the US Capitol. Law enforcement officials have spoken at length on what it means to them, with the more tone deaf and brazen departments pointing to a need for public education on the history of The Thin Blue line. This sentiment is presented in the form of a lie, as the history of The Thin Blue Line traces its first links with policing to a racist Police Chief in the 1950’s, when it was used as a propagandistic tool to disguise rampant corruption and misconduct within the LA police department. 

The phrase The Thin Blue Line was introduced to law enforcement by LAPD Chief Bill Parker. When Chief Parker began his tenure in 1950, the LAPD more closely resembled the Wild West than any type of organization tasked with protecting the public. This lawlessness within law enforcement had given the department a multitude of black eyes, which had eroded the public trust. In order to combat this, in 1952 Chief Parker devised, and then helped produce, a department funded TV show entitled “The Thin Blue Line”. The panel style show was designed to display a polished and professional LAPD to the public at a time when the reality was anything but. Beyond a cozy relationship with propaganda, Parker was known for making publicly racist remarks toward minorities, particularly Black Americans. For the most part, he refused to hire Black officers, and those already on the force were prohibited from having white partners. 
During Parker’s first 15 years as Chief, there were 100 documented incidents of racially motivated violence committed by white supremacists, without a single perpetrator brought to justice. His actions toward minorities are largely credited as the cause of the 1965 Watts Riots, in which 21 citizens were shot and killed by the LAPD and National Guard. During the riots he not only referred to Black participants in the riots as behaving like “monkeys in a zoo”, but also gave a televised statement saying “It is estimated that by 1970, 45% of the metropolitan area of Los Angeles will be Negro. If you want any protection for your home and family, you’re going to have to get in and support a strong police department. If you don’t, come 1970, God help you.” Why law enforcement would so staunchly stand by a symbol popularized by a notorious bigot as a tool of propaganda is beyond me.

Over the next few decades, the Thin Blue Line became synonymous with the Blue Wall of Silence, signifying police officers closing ranks to protect their “brothers” who had committed state sponsored murder, domestic abuse and disgusting civil rights violations. The primary and most often cited meaning by those involved or supportive of law enforcement, a memorial to those lost in the line of duty, wasn’t popularized until the 1988 Errol Morris documentary detailing the murder of Dallas Police Officer Robert W Wood. It remained mostly an intradepartmental symbol for close to 30 years when its use as a display of support for law enforcement by civilians exploded, following a 2016 ambush which claimed the lives of five Dallas officers. Despite isolated incidents such as these often being cited as evidence that police are under attack in our country, officers that have been feloniously killed in the line of duty have decreased from 132 in 1972 to 48 in 2019. In fact, a study by AdvisorSmith, which utilized U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data, states that law enforcement doesn’t even crack the top 20 most dangerous jobs in America.
Since its public resurgence, we have seen The Thin Blue Line flag carried by torch wielding white supremacists in Charlottesville, and as a staple at rallies supporting populist politician Donald Trump, by people who are often heard regurgitating alt-right and Q-anon conspiracy theories. While these occurrences are the source of recent scrutiny, and Law enforcement has widely condemned these uses, the Thin Blue Line’s link to white supremacy didn’t begin in 2017. Failing to acknowledge its long use as a weapon of propaganda and intimidation when publicly calling for more education on its history is disingenuous at best.

The Thin Blue Line has a long history in law enforcement, has meant many things, and is viewed many different ways by different people. Marginalized groups in our communities have expressed that this symbolizes the mentality that allowed their oppression to be perpetuated. It is harmful to the communities our officers have sworn to protect and serve. As such, it has no place being displayed by on duty officers. It has no place adorning the police cruisers that were purchased using taxpayer dollars. It has no place on any other municipally owned vehicle or property. If there is any sincerity in requests for better cooperation with the community, this symbol should be promptly removed. 

Symbols are powerful. They can unify movements, they can help build coalitions, and they can empower ideologies. Unfortunately, what they mean to us as individuals has no bearing on their overall meaning or effect, no matter our personal feelings about them.

There is also an online petition that has been started regarding the Springfield Police “Thin Blue Line” – https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SPD-thin-blue-line

John H. Keating II is a community activist and former candidate for Illinois State Representative in the 96th District.

BREAKING: Shooting on Enterprise St in Springfield; 2 victims shot

Shots fired in the 220 block of E. Enterprise St. in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – Today, around 2:05 p.m., Sangamon County Sheriff’s responded to the 2200 block of E. Enterprise St., for reports of 20-30 shots fired and a victim injured.

According to initial reports, two 17 year old victims were shot. One victim, who was found in the middle of the road, had multiple gun shot wounds to the back, and another victim was reported as having a gun shot wound to their head.

One deputy reported that they had a 16 year old at gun point and took him into custody.

Both 17 year old victim’s injuries are considered life-threatening.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for additional information.

Suspect’s vehicle in yesterdays shooting located; Suspects and victims knew each other

Shooting at 850 W. Lenox Ave. in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – Yesterday, February 15, 2021, around 11:00 am Sangamon County Deputies responded to 850 W. Lenox for reports of a shooting.

Witnesses observed a Gray colored vehicle pull up to the apartment complex and 3 black males exit the vehicle. The males entered the common doorway for apartments 850 & 860 W. Lenox. 

A few minutes later witnesses heard 3-4 gun shots and the 3 black males run out of the common doorway and enter the vehicle.  Two of the male subjects entered the vehicle and the vehicle left before the 3rd male was able to get in the back seat.

It was discovered the subject, a 28 year old black male, who didn’t get in the vehicle suffered a gunshot wound to the left leg. A second victim, a 37 year old black male, was located in the vicinity of the apartment complex who also suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg.

The suspect vehicle was later located by Detectives. The vehicle was unoccupied and held as evidence. Both victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Through the investigation it was determined that the subjects are familiar with each other.   

According to the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation is still ongoing.

Suspect’s vehicle in yesterdays shooting located; Suspects and victims knew each other

Shooting at 850 W. Lenox Ave. in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – Yesterday, February 15, 2021, around 11:00 am Sangamon County Deputies responded to 850 W. Lenox for reports of a shooting.

Witnesses observed a Gray colored vehicle pull up to the apartment complex and 3 black males exit the vehicle. The males entered the common doorway for apartments 850 & 860 W. Lenox. 

A few minutes later witnesses heard 3-4 gun shots and the 3 black males run out of the common doorway and enter the vehicle.  Two of the male subjects entered the vehicle and the vehicle left before the 3rd male was able to get in the back seat.

It was discovered the subject, a 28 year old black male, who didn’t get in the vehicle suffered a gunshot wound to the left leg. A second victim, a 37 year old black male, was located in the vicinity of the apartment complex who also suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg.

The suspect vehicle was later located by Detectives. The vehicle was unoccupied and held as evidence. Both victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Through the investigation it was determined that the subjects are familiar with each other.   

According to the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation is still ongoing.