Elgin Community College police officer placed on leave after encounter with teens
An Elgin Community College police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after video of a confrontation with teens surfaced on social media, school officials said Saturday.
The campus police department last Tuesday responded to reports that several teens were climbing closed bleachers and using a gymnasium without authorization, Elgin Community College Police Chief David Kintz said in a statement posted on the school's Facebook page.
"The responding officers determined that the best course of action, in this case, was to escort the teens off campus," Kintz said. "During this process, one of the officers reportedly responded in a manner that is inconsistent with the values of Elgin Community College."
Kintz said the officer involved has been placed on leave while officials conduct an investigation. The department also has notified the Kane County state's attorney's office.
"As chief, I hold our officers to a higher standard; it is my responsibility to ensure that the actions of our officers are always consistent with the values here at ECC," he said.
Pieces of the grainy video, posted in a few places online, show officers leading students through a gym, and one pushes at least one student forward. Profanity is heard from the students; it's unclear if officers also swear, but at least one officer yells at them. A racial slur is also heard, but it's unclear who says it.
Adriana Torres, 33, the mother to two boys involved in the incident, said her 14-year-old son was grabbed by the back of his neck and was tossed into the wall, busting his lip. Her son's shoe came off before he started recording the incident, and the officer kicked the shoe down the stairs and said vulgar things, Torres said.
Her 13-year-old son was leaving the restroom when he heard yelling and screaming, and an officer grabbed him, Torres said.
She said she thinks the officer should be fired and hopes this doesn't happen to anyone else's children.
"Regardless of what the children say or what happened or what a child says to you, there's no reason for him to be aggressive as he was," she said.
Kintz said he's inviting any questions or concerns about the encounter.
"We have spoken with the family involved and community leaders to hear their concerns," he said. "It is only by being made aware of situations that we can take the necessary steps. It is my pledge and my duty to keep Elgin Community College a safe space for everyone."
• Daily Herald correspondent Carly Behm contributed to this report.