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Special prosecutor assigned to Taylor Brown investigation

A gavel sits on a judge's bench. On top of that photo, the words "WGLT Courts" appears.
WGLT file photo

A judge has approved a transfer of the Taylor Brown case to the State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor office in Springfield.

The McLean County State’s Attorney’s office has recused itself from the case that involves allegations of aggravated arson, aggravated battery of a peace officer, and resisting or obstructing a peace officer, instead of taking the information from the police investigation to a grand jury.

The investigation of Brown began after a Feb. 6 fire at a residence in the 200 block of Parktrail Road in Normal. Fire and police investigators suspected arson. Brown went to the Normal Police Department at officers’ request to discuss the fire the night it happened. But after a delay of 40 minutes, she decided to leave.

Brown was arrested in the lobby of department headquarters when she refused to give her cell phone to officers. A video of the confrontation and officers’ takedown of Brown as they seized the phone gathered significant social media attention.

State's Attorney Erika Reynolds said her office is transferring the case because it has a conflict, though she declined to describe the conflict and cited court limitations on public statements about pending cases.

Brown has filed a federal lawsuitagainst police officers, alleging they violated her civil rights during the lobby altercation, committed false arrest, and used excessive force.

The appellate prosecutors’ office has been known to take months or years to deal with referred cases.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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