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Civil Trial, Brought Against City of Rockford by Kingdom Authority Church, Begins Today

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It’s been a surprisingly emotional first day of testimony in the civil trial brought by Kingdom Authority Church against the City of Rockford.

The church alleges that the officers who chased and killed Mark Barmore, on in 2009, put children in physical and psychological danger. The church was operating a summer camp for children in the basement of the facility.

It’s the first time we’ve heard former Rockford Police officers Oda Poole and Stan North speak in detail about the shooting. 

Mark Anthony Barmore, who had been arrested multiple times on battery and weapons charges, and spent time in prison for residential burglary, was being pursued, by Poole and North, for an alleged domestic disturbance involving his girlfriend.  Barmore fled inside Kingdom Authority Church and was followed inside by the two officers, a pursuit that ended in North shooting and killing Barmore.

The church’s attorney argued in court Tuesday the shooting could have been prevented.

“You’re going to hear specifically about what happened and that it’s Officer North’s bullets that killed Mark Anthony Barmore,” said Craig Sandberg during opening statements.  “We believe the evidence is going to show you [this] was entirely preventable.”

The city alleges that it was Barmore’s actions that forced officers to act.

“You’ll hear evidence that Mr. Barmore hid behind the door and that when he lurched… in one swift move, in close proximity with Officer Poole, and got both hands on his gun,” said Feanyi Mogbana, the attorney for the City of Rockford.

Officer North got emotional on the stand as he recalled moments before he fired the deadly shots, recounting seeing Barmore, with Poole’s gun in his hands.

“[The] muzzle of his gun was pointed at his is face… I thought he [Poole] was going to be killed,” North said.

Testimony in the case continues Wednesday.

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