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Aldermen get report on 12-year-old’s arrest

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Members of Evanston’s Human Services Committee are scheduled Monday to review the police investigation of complaints over the arrest of a 12-year-old bicycle rider downtown last July.

Ridgeville Park District Board member and unsuccessful 8th Ward aldermanic candidate Rob Bady claimed that police should not have taken his son Iain into custody after he was seen riding on the back of a bicycle that crossed a downtown intersection against a red light, nearly colliding with two cars.

After an investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Standards, the report says Police Chief Richard Eddington concluded that the officers who made the arrest “behaved according to departmental policy/guidelines, made competent and lawful decisions and at no time were disrespectful or abusive.”

He exonerated the officers of the charges.

However, the investigation concluded that a mistake had occurred after the youth was taken to the station, when an officer not involved in the initial arrest gave the father a formal station adjustment to sign, when other officers had concluded that the situation should be resolved as an informal station adjustment instead.

A formal station adjustment for a juvenile is reported to state police and requires an expungement procedure to remove from the youth’s record, while an informal station adjustment is not reported to state police and doesn’t require expungement.

The report concluded that the officers involved “acted in good faith,” but that there were errors in the issuance of the form, in the incident’s documentation and in the information conveyed to citizens.

The chief directed additional training for juvenile officers and modification of the station adjustment forms. The report indicates that the training was scheduled to have been conducted last month.

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