Flossmoor Village Board officially fires Police Chief Jerel Jones

Cate Cauguiran Image
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Flossmoor Village Board fires Police Chief Jerel Jones
Now-former Flossmoor Police Chief Jerel Jones has filed a civil rights lawsuit, claiming racial discrimination and retaliation.

FLOSSMOOR, Ill. (WLS) -- On Monday night, the Flossmoor Village Board voted to officially terminate Police Chief Jerel Jones.

The vote came amid storm of confusion among residents after the village stated that Jones had, in fact, not yet been fired prior to the meeting.

Mayor Michelle Nelson said, at the start of Monday's council meeting, "We will respond to Chief Jones' allegation through the appropriate legal channels, and I am confident that when we are able to share all of the facts with you the community will be supportive of our actions."

Many at Monday night's public comment voiced their concerns over the lack of transparency from village leaders over the process so far.

"Trustees, you should take immediate action on the village administration's accountability, because there doesn't seem to be any," said Flossmoor resident Percy Jones.

"The communications inside and outside of our village appeared to be grounded in conflict and control. Moreover, messaging had come forth that has been confusing," said Reginald Williams, another Flossmoor resident.

"There is more question as to whether he is even been terminated, whether he is being terminated later in closed session or, frankly, what is really going on," added resident Jenny Curtis.

In a March 7 letter to residents about the police chief, the mayor stated, in part, "There have been serious operational and administrative lapses under his watch" and "it has become clear that is best for the village if all parties part ways."

This all comes one week after Jones filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming racial discrimination and retaliation.

On Monday, the village filed a motion over claims made in the lawsuit, disputing their accuracy and alleging the language was defamatory and not based on facts.

Jones has said he would be willing to drop the lawsuit if the village publicly apologizes and gives his job back.

A spokesperson for Jones' attorneys said in a statement, "On Monday, March 18th, in a racially-divided vote, the Flossmoor Village Trustees voted to fire Chief Jerel Jones. Each of the black trustees stood in support of the chief. He has the knowledge, experience, and integrity to effectively lead the department. Yet, it was another act of race discrimination sealed with the Mayor's tie-breaking vote. This confirms our stance that Chief Jones has been subjected to ongoing discrimination by the Village. We will not tolerate that and will stand with him in our pursuit of justice."