Retired Rockford Police officer involved in deadly shooting announces run for Boone Co. Sheriff

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BOON COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — A former officer with the Rockford Police Department throws his name into the running to be the top cop in Boone County.

Oda Poole announced his candidacy for the 2022 election. Last week, Sheriff Dave Ernest announced he would not be seeking re-election.

Poole was one of two police officers involved in controversial and deadly shooting of Mark Barmore in 2009.

Barmore fled from police and into the House of Grace Daycare at Kingdom Authority Church, where he was killed in an altercation with the officers.

The Kingdom Authority Church had filed a lawsuit, on behalf of the children, staff of the daycare, and the Brown family (who own the church), for $4 million in damages against the City of Rockford.

The Brown family, daycare workers, and the children’s families were awarded money for emotional distress. The jury awarded several individuals under one count of reckless conduct, on behalf of the police officers involved, with a sum of $350,000.

Sheila Brown was awarded $15,000, a lower amount than the prosecution had sought, determining that she was 40% to blame for the incident by leaving the church’s door unlocked, so that Barmore had access to the building.

Poole was fired two years after the shooting, despite the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office ruling that the shooting was justified. 

Poole was reinstated two years later after an arbitrator determined he was wrongfully terminated. 

In 2017, the city agreed to pay Poole $700,000 in workers’ compensation over the next four years and Poole was allowed retire with the department in good standing.

The city also paid out $1 million to settle a civil lawsuit with Barmore’s family.  At the time, city leaders said the payment wasn’t an admission of guilt, but rather a way to avoid any public outrage.

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