Bloomington: Show some compassion

By: Diane Benjamin

Jelani Day’s mom spoke at Public Comment last night via phone. Carmen Bolden-Day still has no answers more than a year after her son disappeared and was later found in the Illinois River. Carmen claimed she hasn’t been able to talk to investigators since February. She also talked about the handling of evidence from both the Bloomington police department and Peru’s.

Mayor Mwilambwe cut her off at 3 minutes. He shouldn’t have. It showed he had little compassion for the mother of a dead child with no answers. The 3 minute limit was more important than a grieving mother? Carmen was complaining about not being able to talk to investigators, then Mboka proved police are just following City policy by not allowing her to finish speaking.

At 1:57:44 Jacari Harris spoke on the same topic. Both want Mboka to intervene and get accountability from the Bloomington police.

Someone knows what happened to Jelani.

Someone is not telling the police what they know.

This mother deserves answers. This mother deserves compassion. If the Bloomington police have not returned Carmen’s calls since February they need to assign one investigator to her. Even if there is no new information Carmen needs to know somebody cares. Imagine how you would feel if Jelani was your child.

This wasn’t a good look for the City on a night where they settled an excessive use of force case by the Bloomington police. Carmen thought the Council was the police department’s boss, they aren’t. The police work for Gleason, Gleason works for the Council.

In between these two speakers Surena Fish spoke as a member of the PSCRB. She reported the Board had reviewed the license plate reader reports, she said they are working to solve crimes. She was evidently not aware the old YMCA has been purchased by Eastview.

There was a township meeting before Council, nothing else too exciting happened. Tim Gleason wasn’t present. Bill Tyus filled in.

Just hit play to hear Carmen:

21 thoughts on “Bloomington: Show some compassion

  1. I must confess, I don’t want to hear any more about Jelani Day. Many families have lost loved ones. Some in nefarious circumstances as well. This is not the proper forum in my opinion. There was another man who drowned from here at the same time. I bet no one remembers what happened to him. I bet no one even remembers his name.

      1. That’s a cop out question. I hope it never happens to my child but I would mourn in private, contact the appropriate agencies, hire an attorney and investigator, which I think she did and accept it. With the city council , she is showboating, given the people she has brought out in the past for publicity.

  2. The police work for us the taxpayers it’s called professionalism and customer service that they are supposed to provide to us which most front line police officers do. It is the higher ups that are arrogant including politicians as the mayor just demonstrated he could have given this mother all the time she needed. I can hear him if we give her more time we have to give it to everybody well mayor not everyone has lost a son, show some compassion .
    I don’t know if information is being kept from the mother but she certainly deserves to be heard.

  3. She has been heard and her demands have been met. She demanded that the FBI take over the case. The State recently passed “Jelani Day” legislation that requires the FBI be assigned cases like this.

    It is standard practice to not share information with the public on open investigations. Early on, Carmen Bolden-Day went to the press with any and all information she was given by police which could have interfered with solving the case.

    There is and has been compassion related to the loss of Jelani Day’s life but compassion alone won’t determine how Jelani died.

  4. do tell I agree 100% with what you say.
    This forum was not the place to give answers and you can compromise an investigation with giving out too much info.
    This whole thing is being drug way out of proportion by the mother I just believe that the mayor could have felt a little compassion and let Jalani’s mother finish her talk.

  5. The crime did not even take place within the jurisdiction of the Bloomington Police Dept.

    The families concern and frustration is misdirected.

  6. As soon as the family threw out racism accusations against an entire town’s worth of people, I tuned out. Playing the race card seems to me like a desperate attempt to downplay Jelani’s possible criminal activities.

    If he was an innocent victim, then it’s sad he died. It’s also sad that his family felt the need to be racist to over 10k people who had nothing to do with his death.

    Having said all that, why are we giving a platform to racists?

      1. Why does grieving giver her the right to spew anti-white racism? And can I be racist and simply claim I was in mourning? Is it really that easy?

  7. Government entities are learning to clam up and not say anything for fear of being sued anymore. One wrong reply comment could get you sued. So yeah I could see the reason for ending this at 3 minutes.

    Was it the right thing to do to cut her off. No not in my opinion. Just from what I have seen in the news it looked like a botched investigation. Does she deserve answers, yes.

  8. Not Monday, no. Months ago this was. Does it matter when she did it?

    Quote: “Crump said because of Peru’s demographic being predominately white and with the town’s racial history of being a sundown town, he wants the FBI to investigate Jelani’s death as a hate crime.”

    Here’s Newsweek propping up their racism.

    Quote from the very FIRST sentence: “Jelani Day’s mother and attorney Ben Crump are seeking answers after the 25-year-old’s body was found in an alleged sundown town.”

    Here’s a race grifter on Twitter reinforcing anti-white racism stoked by the mother. story – “…a former sundown town”

    Also his brothers pushing anti-white racism – “Day believes that his brother’s case would have gotten a lot more attention initially if Jelani were white.

    They are basing their hatred of Peru, Illinois not only on the demographics being almost all white (which is a HUGE red flag), but also on a book that says Peru was a sundown town at some point in the past. They never say when that was, but they sure are convinced that it’s a relevant point to keep making.

    Last time I checked, this is racism. Pure, unfiltered racism. Ms. Day got her 3 minutes and that’s all that she deserves.

    1. I have to tell you, this is exactly why I’m not a republican/conservative. I made the same comment about Ms. Day being racist the last time Diane posted about her sympathetically, and no one cared about Ms. Day being a racist then either. Diane and many commenters have went off (for good reason) about CRT and DEI, but this blatant racism is fine because her son died? Painting 10k+ people with a racist brush is ok because she’s grieving?

      People reading this can think what they want, but I personally have no sympathy left for people who automatically play the race card. Again, she got her 3 minutes allocated by law, but we don’t have to give racists any more platform than that.

  9. Diane,
    I usually agree with you on most things. This one I do not. Mrs. Day is grieving and I feel for her. I could not imagine losing a child. Any parents worst nightmare. However, as many have said, she is consistently addressing the wrong people, entity, etc. I also would really question that absolutely no one from BPD has talked to her since February? That seems grossly exaggerated, especially on what most would consider a high profile case. I haven’t read much recently, but did in the beginning. Isn’t Peru leading the investigation on this? The family has also changed the narrative of the story to make it fit an agenda. Headlines were his body was missing organs. In reality, his body was badly decomposed that his organs had liquified. I think this young man probably had a bright future given the program he had been accepted in at ISU. But we also know young people make stupid mistakes. I feel for this family in that they are grieving and want answers, but let’s concentrate efforts where they belong.
    Should the Mayor have cut her off? Probably not. But if he didn’t, then the next time someone speaks and does get cut off, they are going to say he is picking and choosing who can speak. Also, I thought all people speaking had to be in person????

  10. I’m usually vehemently in disagreement with Diane, but she is 1,000% right in this case and I admire her sticking to her guns on this opinion.

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