Bloomington, IL policehave filed a disproportionate number of objections to concealed carry license applicants who currently live or have listed an address in Bloomington during the past ten years.
We’re not sure why.
ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS OBJECTIONS
We do know Bloomington Police do not have a formal policy for evaluating concealed carry applicants yet they are filing objections at every opportunity.
Guns Save Life filed a Freedom of Information Request on April 17th, 2014 seeking, among other items:
…copies of the Bloomington Police Department’s policies and procedures for evaluating concealed carry license applicants and filing of formal objections to certain applicants.
On April 30th, they sent a partial denial, citing “personal information” in email exchanges involving the Bloomington PD chief.
They did send one document that may be of interest to attorneys suing for due process rights of those who have been denied from Bloomington PD’s objections.
Here’s Bloomington PD’s non-policy from that document:
Our agency as well as other local agencies are not being provided any criteria for local agency “objections” to applications for CC. Therefore we will come up with our own list based on what has been common around the U.S. and what should be common sense for public safety.
Also, always keep in mind during this process that the applicant can already legally possess a gun. We are just making sure there are no POLICE REPORTS list the applicant as a person involved in behavior that would present a danger to society. In reviewing the first set of applications I suggest we look for the following:
• Past pattern of violent behavior
• Danger to self or other
• Threat or attempt of suicide
• Mental incompetence
• Domestic Violence
• Assaults on a Police Officer
• Documented member of a definable organized criminal group
• Drug dependency issues
ISP also reminded us that we have no legal obligation to check the CC applicants in our area as well as any other CC applicants that live in other parts of IL but have lived in our city. They are doing their best but we are on our own for how to process these applications.
We will check all applicants that are listed in the CC portal as living in Bloomington as well as any applicants that have listed Bloomington as a prior address.
Near as we can tell, in conversations with current and former Bloomington city residents, objections have been filed for:
* An individual arrested for domestic violence roughly 12 years ago and taken to jail, only to be released without charges the next day.
* An individual who brought a concealed handgun to the security checkpoint at the McLean County Courthouse as an oversight.
* Two individuals who had Emergency Orders of Protection filed against them as part of a heated divorce. Both expired because the plaintiffs failed to show up at the formal hearing 10 days or two weeks later. These Emergency Orders are said to be fairly commonplace in divorces as one side will use the order as leverage in negotiating temporary custody and maintenance agreements.
* An individual who had an altercation, as he described it, with Bloomington Police a decade or more ago. There were no arrests made and he says he has no arrests.
* A man cited for public intoxication during his time at ISU back in the 90s.
Remember: All of these individuals are innocent until proven guilty and there is no due process for applicants denied because of arbitrary and potentially capricious local law-enforcement objections.
Bloomington police have no formal policy, yet they are hitting the “OBJECT” button on a regular basis on the ISP’s concealed carry web portal.
We find the irony of Bloomington Police objecting to an individual cited for public drunkenness rich.
Alcohol abuse isn’t unheard of at BPD. Not one little bit.
Police officer on paid leave after DUI charge
(Vidette) – Early Sunday morning on Nov. 10, Bloomington police officer Sgt. Troy Doza, 45, was arrested for driving under the influence. He was driving west on Fox Creek Road near Springfield Road a little after 1 a.m. His car went off the road, hit a utility pole and overturned.
Doza had some injuries and was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, and afterward was arrested and taken to McLean County jail. According to the Pantagraph, he was released shortly after for posting $100 and his driver’s license on charges of driving under the influence.
How about that? Get a DUI, get a paid vacation!
Here’s what many believe to be a video of Sgt. Troy Doza shortly before he wrecked out.
And then there’s the Bloomington Police Assistant Chief Bob Wall who left the scene of a property damage accident after drinking somehow managed to evade a DUI arrest. Why would someone leave an accident – especially the assistant police chief – unless they were concealing something illicit?
BLOOMINGTON (Pantagraph) — Assistant Police Chief Bob Wall was cited for leaving the scene of a property damage accident and improper lane usage following a traffic accident Wednesday that led officers to conduct a field sobriety test at his home.
The traffic citations were issued Friday afternoon after Chief Randy McKinley completed a review of accident reports filed after Walls’ vehicle struck a pole at Ireland Grove Road and Veterans Parkway.
Wall remains on duty and does not face a potential citation for driving under the influence of alcohol, said McKinley.
Check out this sweetheart plea deal he managed to cop to from a subsequent story in the Bloomington Pantagraph:
Wall pleaded guilty in November to improper lane usage in a plea deal with a special prosecutor that included dismissal of citations for leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report property damage.
According to a report dated Jan. 17 and written by recently retired Bloomington Police Chief Randy McKinley, Wall went to Reality Bites in downtown Bloomington with state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, “for personal conversation and drinks.”
Do you think you or I would get that deal?
Of course we would! How silly of me.
And then there’s Bloomington Police Officer William McGonigle.
BLOOMINGTON (Pantagraph) – Drunken driving charges were dismissed Thursday against a Bloomington police officer after a special prosecutor said the state lacked sufficient evidence to prove its case.
Officer William McGonigle, 35, of Normal was pulled over by a state trooper Jan. 31 for speeding. Court records indicate the patrolman was driving 83 mph in a 45 mph zone on Route 51 at Kerrick Road.
McGonigle refused to take a breath or field sobriety test. He pleaded guilty to speeding and was ordered to pay a $185 fine, attended four hours of traffic school and complete six months of court supervision.
Special Prosecutor Ed Parkinson told a judge during a pre-trial hearing that charges should be dismissed because the evidence is not strong enough to sustain a conviction.
I hope McGonigle has been sending the Parkinson family a nice Christmas card every year.
Thank goodness none of these men killed someone’s wife and kids following the drinking and driving.
Yet this same department wants to reject a man busted solely for a public intoxication ticket when he was in college well over a decade ago.
This is the same police department that gave local residents the serial rapist Bloomington Police Sergeant Jeff Pelo, who raped several Bloomington residents. In 2008, Jeff Pelo, aged 43, was found guilty of 28 counts of aggregated criminal sexual assault in the rapes of four women. It’s not known how many other women he raped.
These women had all come to the Bloomington Police seeking help with issues and in the days or weeks afterwards, one of Bloomington’s finest then comes and rapes them in their homes. Welcome to Bloomington, ladies!
And now it seems, that same department is going out of its way to turn the “shall issue” concealed carry law into a “may issue” law.
But this isn’t the first issue Bloomington Police have had with sex-crazed officers.
The Bloomington Police Benevolent’s former president, Bloomington Police Officer Chuck Keller, was caught running naked across the ISU campus years ago to complement allegations he unzipped his fly and exposed his sex organ to female staff at Bloomington PD on more than one occasion.
At the very least, Bloomington Police need to formalize a clear and reasonable policy for objecting to concealed carry applicants that doesn’t involve flagging everyone who has ever had an arrest or an order of protection in their past – or less.
In fairness to BPD, they did return one email exchange where the chief approved the objection to a man who was in a bar fight in 1993 and slashed the other man’s face with a knife.
That seems reasonable on the surface, but if that slashing was unjustified, why wasn’t the slasher arrested and imprisoned? How could that individual have a FOID card — unless it was a justifiable use of deadly force.
The way Bloomington Police have been objecting to anything and everything, we wouldn’t be surprised to find out they objected to someone using force in self-defense.