Two Evanston police officers have been placed on administrative leave after they arrested a political candidate who was seeking petition signatures outside the Panera Bread downtown on Sunday evening.
City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz this morning sent a letter to Devon Reid, a candidate for city clerk, saying the officers’ actions Sunday in arresting him did not comply with police department training, policy or procedures.
Bobkiewicz said that in addition to placing Sgt. David Berman and Officer Amy Golubski on leave the city is moving to drop prosecution of the misdemeanor citation issued against Reid for disobeying police.
Reid says that when an officed approached him outside the restaurant he provided his name but declined to give his birth date, which apparently led to his being taken into custody.
A state statute, 725 ILCS 5/107-14, says police may demand the name and address of a person they stop in a public place when they reasonably believe the person is committing an offense. But the statute makes no reference to persons stopped being required to disclose their age.
While the city has made frequent efforts to discourage aggressive panhandling downtown, circulating nominating petitions for public office wouldn’t fall under that ban.