Officer reprimanded for arresting city clerk candidate


Daily file photo by Elena Sucharetza

Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington talks at a community event. Eddington said Thursday one officer had been reprimanded after the investigation into the arrest of Devon Reid and the other officer had retired.

David Fishman, Assistant City Editor

One Evanston police officer has been reprimanded and the other has retired after the arrest of Devon Reid, a city clerk candidate who in November was apprehended while petitioning in downtown Evanston, police chief Richard Eddington said.

Sgt. David Berman retired during the department’s internal investigation into the matter, and Officer Amy Golubski was given a suspension, a decision she is appealing. In the meantime, Golubski will remain active in the force.

“I have made a disciplinary decision; she’s appealing that,” Eddington said. “Having done this for a while, I know if I impose the suspension now before she’s exhausted her appeals … I’m going to have to compensate her in some way if the arbitrator changes my decision.”

The development comes about two months after Reid — a 24-year-old black man — was arrested at the corner of Sherman Avenue and Church Street for refusing to give specific personal information to an officer.

The officer approached Reid believing he was in violation of a city ordinance that prohibits solicitation on Sundays.

When Reid explained that he was petitioning for signatures, the officer pressed for his name, middle initial and date of birth. He gave the officer the first two pieces of information, but declined to share the latter because he felt he was not breaking any laws. Police initially charged him with violating a city ordinance, but soon thereafter dropped the charge.

Reid, who believes the incident had to do with his race, said he was displeased with the investigation’s outcome.

“I’m not satisfied,” he said. “I want to see what punishment is handed down to Officer Golubski. I think Sgt. Berman took the easy way out by retiring and collecting a nice pension.”

But Reid encouraged people to focus instead on the case of Lawrence Crosby — a Northwestern graduate student who in 2015 was arrested for stealing a car that turned out to be his own. Since the city released a video of the incident last week — in which officers can be seen kneeing and punching the unarmed student — there has been a loud call for reform.

“All of the officers received no punishment, no leave time, no distinction,” Reid said. “(Crosby) may not have sued the city if the officers had been held accountable in the first place.”

Eddington conceded that officers sometimes make an “error,” but denied the influence of race in any of their actions. He pointed to the demographics of the police force and its low complaint-to-incident ratio.

“We have sergeants, commanders and deputy chiefs of color,” Eddington said. “I find it unfathomable that any of them would tolerate racist behavior. … The thought that employees of color would go along with that nonsense is incomprehensible.”

At a City Council meeting in November following Reid’s arrest, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl apologized and told him the city was “taking it very seriously.” Other aldermen also chimed in to express their sympathy and encourage change.

“I know we’ve made progress since I’ve been on this council,” Ald. Delores Holmes (5th) said at the meeting. “But we’ve got so much more to do.”

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