The Alton Police chief says the department will investigate not only a video of an officer that appears to be spraying mace in the face of two juveniles in a holding cell, but also the release of that video. The video was released to a local TV station on Tuesday, and the department has come under fire over the incident.
In a statement to the Big Z, Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons called the actions in the video very serious and worthy of a complete investigation, and appropriate discipline once that investigation is complete. Simmons also said he was disappointed that someone would release a video including juveniles to anyone outside the legal process. KMOV TV obtained the video from Alton NAACP President James Gray, who said in an interview that someone sent the video to him and he released it so the public would know what happened. Chief Simmons says he was made aware of the video in March, but did not receive a report from his officers on the incident in the video until last week. Simmons says that too is under investigation. Gray was among three people who spoke out against the city keeping Simmons as chief during the city council meeting last night.