City Manager Makes Decision Regarding Employee Discipline in Vine Street Incident

City of Champaign City Manager Steve Carter has issued a 30 day suspension without pay to Police Officer Daniel Norbits as a result of his actions in the fatal shooting of Kiwane Carrington on October 9, 2009 (906 W. Vine Street). In considering the matter of employee discipline, City Manager Steve Carter reviewed all available facts in the case including an Internal Investigation Report by Deputy Chief Holly Nearing, a report from the Champaign Police Department’s Firearms Discharge Review Board, and an External Review Report conducted by Retired Judge John Freese and Retired Urbana Chief of Police Eddie Adair. “My heart goes out to the Carrington family as they continue to live with this tragedy. It has been a difficult time for everyone in our community, including our elected officials, police officers and other employees of the City of Champaign. We recognize that no action on the part of the City can make up for the loss of Mr. Carrington’s life,” said Carter.

Based upon his review, the City Manager determined that Officer Norbits failed to maintain control of his weapon which is a violation of a Police Department policy. The City Manager’s decision considers that this was an unintentional act by the officer and that other circumstances surrounding the incident contributed to the outcome, including the confined area of the backyard, and Kiwane Carrington’s actions in failing to obey the lawful command of a police officer.

“Although the officer did not intend to discharge his weapon, the consequences of the rule violation resulting in Mr. Carrington’s death were a significant factor in the disciplinary decision,” said Carter. As discipline for the rule violation, the City Manager imposed the maximum suspension allowable under the Fraternal Order of Police labor agreement with the City.

“In my tenure with the City, this has been the most difficult incident that I have experienced. I am sure members of the community feel the same way,” said Carter. “I appreciate the community’s patience as we have gone through this internal review process. I personally thank community members who have worked in cooperation with the City and Police Department during these challenging times and I hope that we can continue the work in which we are currently engaged,” he added.

For community members interested in reviewing the three investigative reports, they are now available at http://ci.champaign.il.us/vinestreet.