Alton chief admits disappointment in way department handled maci - KMOV.com

Alton chief admits disappointment in way department handled macing incident

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ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Days after video surfaced of an Alton police officer macing a handcuffed teen and suspending the officer, the police chief is finally addresses the case.

In a new conference lasting less than three minutes, Alton Chief Jake Simmons said the department is taking steps to make sure a similar incident doesn't happen again.

“I gave a directive to members of my senior staff to ensure any report related to this incident was properly completed and given to me so I could review it,” Simmons said.

Simmons said he learned of the incident back on March 17th and expressed disappointment in his staff officers who failed to quickly submit a report of the peppering spraying which happened back on January 26th.

“I regret not giving those assigned this duty a deadline, or following up with them sooner so this issue could already be resolved,” continued Simmons.

The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation. Simmons added that punishment will be handed down as soon as that investigation is complete, but some people aren't happy with the process.

“Why wasn't there a method of transparency, given to the public here? We have a newly formed community relations commission, where is the transparency to the people?” Joshua Young asked.

Young who said he's a social advocate for the Alton community is calling for a Department of Justice review on the Alton Police Department.

“Let's establish a policy, procedures that are fair,” Young said, “Let's start getting more community participation, let's get rid of this chief.”

The chief said he's now working on implementing a deadline for reporting use of force incidents.

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