Protesters Demand Federal Investigation into Death of Eddie Patterson

Protestors push for a federal investigation to find answers to Patterson's death

ROCKFORD - "What do we want? A federal investigation," chanted protestors walking up State Street toward Rockford's City Hall, demanding answers in the shooting death of Eddie Patterson who was killed November 5th, after being pulled over as part of a traffic stop by Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox, who also died that night.

"We know, from too many different stories, we do not trust the Integrity Task Force to give us the total truth here," said Pastor Melvin Brown of the Kingdom Authority Church.

Brown and protestors stormed City Hall, wanting what they call 'justice for Patterson'. Instead of the Task Force, they want a federal investigators to take over the case. "If we have to go to Roland Martin's, if we have to go to Jesse Jackson, who ever other outside people we have to bring in, we will bring them in," Brown added.

Brown says he supports law enforcement, but from prior investigations he believes the current Task
Force can't be trusted. "We have had too many investigations by these same people and total truth did not come out, and we have facts to prove that," Brown said.  "The [Mark] Barmore case is a fact, the Bennett case is a fact, that they came out with total different stories. So, we want somebody else to come and tell us what is true," he added.

The protest didn't unfold in the City Council Chambers, however. The chants were so loud that a member of the city's legal team, along with Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea, stepped out and spoke with the protestors.

Despite Pastor Brown's demand for a federal investigation, Mayor Tom McNamara is confident the Integrity Task Force will figure out what happened between Patterson and Cox during the fateful traffic stop.

"If it were needed and warranted, we would certainly look down that avenue," McNamara said. "But we are not looking down that avenue at all right now. We are letting the investigation run its course, as we do with all our investigations," he added.

Chief O'Shea said he couldn't comment on the investigation but believes citizens have a right to voice their opinions. "(We will) try and figure out what their frustrations are and then deal with them and try and explain the legal ways and our ways, our practices, and see if we can come to some resolution," he added.

O'Shea will be meeting with concerned residents Tuesday at 2:30p.m. on Tuesday at the Kingdom Authority Church.


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