Alton residents speak out against police officer macing handcuff -

Alton residents speak out against police officer macing handcuffed suspects

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ALTON, Ill. ( - Residents in Alton are sounding off on a surveillance video that appears to show an Alton police officer pepper spraying two handcuffed young men in a holding area, one of them reacts by twitching and shaking.

“That is sad. That is real sad. They need to be punished,” said Liz Ballinger.

“Well I think he should be reprimanded for that and probably even maybe fired or something,” Robert Ferguson, another resident said.

The video is dated in January, but no action has been taken against the police officer involved. News 4 caught up with the Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons on Tuesday.

“I just received the filed report on May 6, so I was holding off on any judgment until I received the paper work including the filed report,” he said.

Chief Simmons says he's known about the incident since March, when a high ranking officer reported it to him.

However that officer only finished the report and turned it in to him on May 6. He said the next step is reviewing the report.?

“We will start an investigation and we will interview the officer but I'm withholding any information right now as far as punishment until a thorough investigation is complete," he said.

The video has also been turned over to the Illinois State Police. Simmons said the video will not be released to the public because juveniles are shown on the tape.

Meanwhile Alton residents told News 4 something needs to be done about their police department.

“I fear for my son's life because the police out here, they are out of control. There's nobody controlling or regulating what they are doing,” said Marcus Gordon, an Alton resident.

“They are supposed to protect and serve but it looks like to me they aren't protecting anyone,” Ballinger added.
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