A newly released video is bringing attention to the conduct of at least one Alton Police officer as well as department leadership. The video, apparently taken from a camera from inside an Alton Police holding cell in January, shows an officer allegedly spraying something in the face of two juveniles who were in custody at the time.
The story first appeared last night on KMOV television in St. Louis after Alton NAACP President James Gray delivered the footage. In an interview, Gray told the TV station the video was mailed to him and he wanted to make it public. Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons confirmed the video was authentic and he has known about it since March. He said an internal affairs investigation is underway regarding why it took officers two months to provide him with a report on what happened. Simmons says he just received the report last week, and questioned the timing of the video with his reappointment as chief up for question tonight. Gray has been at odds with the chief and the city administration over the past two years, and thinks Simmons should be removed as chief. The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office has reportedly asked the Illinois State Police to investigate the holding cell incident.