Well, Fairview Heights Police have again illustrated their propensity for aggressiona and violence when they chase down a family in their vehicle before dragging them out and putting guns to their heads. This is not so far removed from what happened to me on Feb. 17th, 2009 when I too was pulled over and had a gun drawn on me. The difference is, I was beaten‚ and Tasered as well. That story can be found here.
Here is the story as reported by Fox2Now.com in St. Louis, Mo. Visit their site to also see a video of their interview with the Sims’.
BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)- A Belleville family wants answers‚ after they say an undercover police officer crossed the line during a traffic stop.
The family says undercover officer pointed a gun at their heads while a four year old watched in the back seat.
The Sims family says they were headed from Fairview Heights to Belleville last Wednesday evening when their four year old accidentally tossed an ash tray out of the window.
Moments later, they say a man in a Cadillac Escalade tried to run them off the road.
They thought it was road rage, but it was an undercover officer who they say was out of control.
Adriana Sims, 18, said, ‚“When he was chasing us I was thinking it`s road rage and I tried to get somewhere in the light where there are people.‚
Adriana Sims was behind the wheel driving her parents GMC Envoy.
Her sister, older brother and his four year‚ old daughter are in the car. They are scared.
Arthur Sims Jr. said, ‚“Being the older brother I said it`s road rage don`t stop until we get to a lighted area.. We rode for while and finally when we saw some other cars he turned on the lights.‚
But even then. they say they had no idea the man behind the wheel was an undercover officer.
‚“My main concern is my baby was sitting right next to me he would get behind us and rev the engine,‚ said Arthur.
The intersection at Lebonnon Ave in Belleville is where the situation allegedly escalated.
The Sims say the officer jumped out of his car, put a gun to their heads and slammed them on the ground while the four year old watched.
‚“First the gun was to my head and then to my back as we were walking. All I‚ could think about was if he would slip that bullet was going through me,‚ said Arthur.
As other Fairview Heights police officers started to show up the Sims thought the situation would improve.
‚“When I saw them I was thinking maybe they are going to help but they helped him and everything he was doing,‚ said Adriana.
Fairview Heights police say the undercover officer is assigned to the narcotics task force.
In a written statement, they say the officer pursued the Sims after they yelled curse words and threw something out the window that hit his unmarked car.
‚“I felt helpless it was all because an ash tray fell out if anything give me a littering ticket,‚ said Arthur.
Arthur says his four year old now has nightmares. He says the officer could have handled the situation differently.
‚“It was embarrassing. My daughter was right there,‚ said Arthur.
‚“He didn`t jump out with a badge. He just jumped out with a gun,‚ said Adriana.
Adriana Sims was ticketed for not having her insurance card and drivers license and failing to stop for an emergency vehicle.
Arthur Sims was taken‚ to Fairview Heights jail for disorderly conduct and was released when his parents arrived.
The Sims say the are filing a complaint.
Fairview Heights police say they have initiated an internal review.
Below is the statement from police:
I will quote from the Press Release, and address disparities between what Fairview Heights Police say should be done in trying to bring criminal charges against police, and driving to a well-lit area if pulled over by an unmarked vehicle.
“On Thursday, March 8, 2012, Arthur Sims Jr., and Adriana Sims came to the Fairview Heights Police Department to file a complaint against the Fairview Heights Police officer. After briefly explaining their version of the events, theey‚ were informed that state law requires they provide a sworn affidavit as to their complaint. They were provided the necessary paperwork, but they refused to provide a sworn affidavit. As of Monday, March 12, 2012, they have not returned and no formal complaint has been filed.
The Fairview Heights Police Department holds all its officers to high ethical and professional standards. Although the formal investigation process legally requires the signed affidavit, we recognoze and are aware of the incident and complaint. We have initiated our internal review process and await further information and a sworn affidavit from the Sims.
We recognize the presence of emergency lights in an unmarked vehicle does not provide complete assurance the vehicle is actually an authorized police vehicle. Drivers are reminded when they have doubt, they should continue driving to a well-lit populated location before stopping. In addition, they should call 911 whenever possible while driving to determine the validity of the stop.”
‚ Now, as for the first paragraph regarding sworn affidavits; I have provided the same to officials in St. Clair County, only to have them mis-handled and filed as a civil complaint by the then Circuit Clerk, Brendan Kelly.
Mr. Kelly had the case assigned to his judicial lackey, Brian Babka, who very adroitly disposed of the case upon being met with my motion proving that associate judges had a duty under the Illinois Constitution to hear criminal complaints.
With regard to the last paragraph regarding driving when you can’t identify the vehicle as being an official police vehicle, I did the same thing when pulled over at 2am and could not tell if the car was marked or the driver in uniform. I proceeded to drive to a lit area and was beaten, as well as charged with fleeing and eluding. Even though I could not identify the vehicle with lights on as a police vehicle due to it being dark and lights shining in my eyes, I drove to a lighted street, was ordered from my vehicle at gunpoint, beaten and Tasered.
I hope to speak with the Sims’ soon and get more information on their case.