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Jones’ supporters rally at Flossmoor Village Hall on Monday

A group of former Flossmoor Police Chief Jerel Jones’ supporters rally at village hall Monday afternoon to voice their opposition to his dismissal. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

More than 30 supporters of former Police Chief Jerel Jones gathered outside Flossmoor Village Hall Monday afternoon to voice their opposition to his termination.

Jones was let go March 7 after serving not quite a full year. He was Flossmoor’s first Black police chief. 

In a statement announcing the decision, Mayor Michelle Nelson cited “serious operational and administrative lapses” in Jones’ performance.

Chris Jones (no relation to Jerel Jones) holds a sign extolling the former police
chief’s virtues at a rally Monday. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Sisters Shana Easterling and Kiana Jones (no relation to Jerel Jones) organized the rally. 

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Easterling said she was aware of the federal lawsuit Jones had filed against the village and Village Manager Bridget Wachtel, which was announced Monday, but she hadn’t had time to read it all.

She said the purpose of the rally was to let village officials know that Jones’s supporters want Nelson to issue an apology and to reinstate Jones as chief. She also said she would like to see more transparency from the village about the issues with Jones’ performance now that he is no longer employed by the village.

Kiana Jones said residents were there to make their views known. 

“We should have a voice, and we had no voice” in the decision to terminate the former chief, she said.

The group had a small bullhorn and several residents took turns leading chants. The most common one was “Reinstate Chief Jones.” 

One of the chant leaders, Robert Kyler, said he just wanted everybody to be treated fairly.

“This is something so old in America,” he said. 

He noted he moved to Flossmoor five years ago because of the village’s diversity. He sympathized with Jerel Jones, who moved his family to the village and had developed relationships with the community.

“I never experienced any racism,” he said. “I thought Flossmoor was immune to that.”

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