Body cam shows Aurora police followed department policy while searching minor
An internal investigation was completed after a complaint was submitted to the Aurora Police Department by a bystander who reportedly filmed officers conducting a search on a minor in November.
Kane County State’s Attorney, Jamie Mosser, investigated and found the officers involved had reasonable suspicion that a crime was occurring and had probable cause to arrest the juvenile. Mosser found the officers did not violate any criminal statutes or department policies regarding search procedure.
On the evening of Nov. 12, Special Operations Group investigators saw a vehicle traveling near Downer Place and South River Street. Some of the people in the car were wearing ski masks, and after seeing police, they began to act in a way that led officers to believe they might be engaged in criminal activity.
Investigators decided to stop the car.
As officers approached the vehicle, they noted it was filled with smoke and smelled like burnt cannabis. Investigators spoke with everyone in the car. They were all juveniles.
All were cooperative except the driver, who refused to provide his identification despite being asked multiple times by officers.
The driver did not follow instructions and tried to hide illegally packaged cannabis in their front pocket, police say.
When officers got a hold of the cannabis, they attempted to arrest the driver.
Police say, the juvenile immediately started to turn away and appeared to reach towards their groin and pocket area as if they were trying to conceal or reach for something.
Investigators had to position the driver against a car as they continued to pull away from investigators. The juvenile driver was eventually placed into custody, and was searched.
During this search, the juvenile continuously tried to reach into their pockets while in handcuffs and attempted to grab items with their mouth that were placed on the vehicle.
The driver also was verbally uncooperative and continued to resist the officers’ efforts to complete the arrest.
The remaining juveniles were fully cooperative with police. They were all searched and released from the scene without incident.
The arrested juvenile was transported to the Aurora Police Department and charged with Possession of Adult Use Cannabis in a Motor Vehicle by a Driver.
Police say distorted video of this incident was circulated online.
Body-worn camera footage, which was reviewed as part of our internal investigation, shows the entire incident. The footage and the complainant verified that at no point during this incident was anyone stripped of their clothing.
The footage shows that Aurora Police officers did not conduct a body cavity search, which was alleged, police say.
The driver will not be identified at this time as police follow the Illinois Juvenile Court Act, which protects the identity of minors.