At peaceful march to Elgin City Hall on Friday, Decynthia Clements' father speaks
Once again, hundreds of people took the streets in Elgin in solidarity with ongoing protests across the nation.
Participants in the "Elgin in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter" event gathered Friday at Kiwanis Park and marched to city hall on Douglas Avenue. Organizers said this was a peaceful family and educational protest in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and "a demonstration of love for the black community in Elgin."
Charles Clements, father of Decynthia Clements, joined the protest and spoke at length with Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley and Deputy Chief Colin Fleury, as marchers rallied with music and dancing in the circle driveway. He later addressed the crowd.
"Decynthia's gone. But this is not about her. This is about you, you, you, you and all you young people out there," he said in a calm voice as he pointed at the crowd. "You've got to experience life. Hopefully now you get to see what goes on in life."
Decynthia Clements was shot and killed March 12, 2018, by Elgin police Lt. Chris Jensen after she had a standoff with police inside her car along the Jane Addams Tollway. Officers attempted to communicate with her multiple times and moved in to rescue her when she started a fire inside her car. Clements exited with a knife in each hand and was shot by Jensen.
Jensen was found justified in using deadly force by the Cook County state's attorney's office and by a consultant hired by the city. Police Chief Ana Lalley's report concurred with that and cleared Jensen of three policy violations that had been highlighted by the consultant.
Her family said Clements needed specialized crisis intervention that night. Activists had been advocating for Jensen's firing and renewed their calls during this week's protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd died May 25 while he was in handcuffs, on the ground, with a police officer pressing his knee on Floyd's neck. The officer has been charged with second-degree murder; three others officers were charged as well.