Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
breaking featured urgent

Watch now: Herrin cops release body cam footage following racial profiling claims

Viewer discretion is advised.

HERRIN — The Herrin Police Department on Tuesday released body and dash camera footage following backlash over how officers treated a Black man who says they racially profiled and mistreated him during a traffic stop.

During the encounter with Kiveon Crawford, police used a Taser on him repeatedly and put Crawford’s fiancée in handcuffs while his four-month-old baby can be heard crying in the car, according to video. 

Dash camera footage, dated Aug. 28 and released by Herrin police, shows 28-year-old Crawford driving his car through a neighborhood before pulling into his driveway, where he and his fiancée, Cabrenna Roberts, exited the vehicle. 

As of publication, Herrin police have not responded to requests for comment. A Freedom of Information Act Request filed by The Southern is pending.

The Southern has also reached out to Crawford for further comment and this story will be updated if he chooses to respond and as more information becomes available.

Crawford is being charged with a traffic violation and the arresting officer on record was David Loucks, according to Judici, an online courts record database. 

A statement released by the department on social media said the reason for the initial stop was that there were no tail lights illuminated on Crawford’s vehicle. 

But Nancy Maxwell, local activist and founder of the Southern Illinois Unity Coalition, disputes the reason for Crawford’s arrest, saying taillights in his car weren’t out, and says she believes police behaved inappropriately. 

“In the beginning, there's no reason for (using a Taser), the wrestling, the cussing everybody out, leaving the four-month-old baby in the car it didn't call for that,” Maxwell said. “I see tail lights in the video. And I see headlights when he drives into the driveway. So what was out that they needed to pursue him so desperately? He only went a half a block down to his home, where, of course, I'm imagining he felt safe pulling in the driveway.”

In the video, officers can be heard repeatedly telling Crawford and Roberts to get back into their vehicle. 

According to the video, Crawford asked why he was being pulled over and explained he exited the vehicle because he just had a vasectomy. In the video, he complained of soreness post-surgery. 

Crawford and Roberts repeated this multiple times throughout the body camera footage provided by Herrin police and in their own cell phone video recordings provided by Roberts. 

Once Crawford refused again to get back in the car, an officer approached him and said “Alright,” according to video footage. 

Crawford again explained he is standing with one leg on the seat to talk to officers because of his vasectomy. The officer then begins to cuff him and arrest him. 

“Hey I got my baby in the car right there,” Crawford told the officer, referring to his four-month-old infant in the back seat of the vehicle.

“Hey, I don’t really care,” the officer replied. 

The video appears to show the officer wearing a black wristband with a blue line in the middle of it — popularly symbolic of the “Blue Lives Matter” movement. 

When the officer asked for Crawford’s other hand to finish cuffing him, Crawford is seen in the video actively reaching for his cellphone while asking for a moment to call his brother. The baby can be heard crying in the background and the officer told Crawford to relax and put his hands behind his back.

“Put your hands behind your back or you’re going to get (stunned with a Taser),” the officer said, according to the video, before requesting other officers on scene to move in for backup. 

Two officers can be seen holding Crawford’s arms out and pinning him against the car while another runs onto the scene and uses a Taser on him from behind, and Crawford goes to the ground, the video shows. 

While on the ground, police can be heard stunning Crawford with a Taser again, according to the video. 

“He didn’t do anything but pulling over to the house,” Roberts can be heard saying on video as she recorded the interaction on her own cell phone. 

Police then took Roberts’ cell phone from her while her hands were placed behind her back to be cuffed. 

“Don’t make it seem like I’m resisting because I’m not. I’m not resisting,” she said. 

The officer says something inaudible, to which she responds, “My daughter is in the car.” 

In a statement released Tuesday, Herrin police defended the officers’ actions.

“Both Roberts and Crawford have made allegations against the Herrin Police Department that the traffic stop was racially motivated. In response to this allegation the Herrin Police Department has found no wrongdoing on the part of the Officers involved and in being transparent, and are releasing both body camera and dash camera video of the incident,” the department said.

Maxwell, a former police officer, said she believes police used excessive force in this case. She said she met Crawford and he has a small build. There is no way it required that much force to arrest him, she said. 

Crawford is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 142 pounds, according to the online court record database, Judici. 

“This is not a man that's running because he killed somebody or he's kidnapping somebody, there's no high-powered crime driving this, it's a tail light. So I'm not understanding why they felt the need to do all that,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell called for more diversity training. She said if officers had more of an understanding of what it was like to be a Black person during a traffic stop, maybe they wouldn’t have reacted the way they did.

“I don't know why the police act like they have not seen all these killings of Black people by police officers and know that there's an inbred fear that you don't know if you get stopped (whether) you gonna get a ticket or are you gonna be in a body bag?” Maxwell said.

0
1
1
0
0

Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Reporter

Kallie Cox is a general assignments reporter for The Southern with interests in political science, crime and courts, immigration, and social justice. Kallie is a SIU student and joined the newsroom staff in 2021. kallie.cox@thesouthern.com

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News