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City launches GPD investigation after parents of drowned man files complaint

A complaint lodged by the parents of a California man who died in Galesburg has triggered an internal investigation into the Galesburg Police Department.Tyler L. Smith was last seen alive the night of September 14, before his body was discovered 7 p.m. the next evening.

Galesburg police took a missing person report when he failed to show up for Army National Guard training for which he was in town for.

An autopsy performed revealed cause of death was drowning with no injury or foul play suspected.

But Smith’s parents, left without answers, say they want more information.

Sandra Halsne and Kevin Smith raised concerns to the Galesburg Community Relations Commission Thursday night that police’s investigation was incomplete or not taken seriously because Smith was bi-racial.

They’ve filed complaints with the Galesburg Human Relations Commission and the Galesburg Police Department.

City Attorney Brad Nolden explains the Community Relations Commission doesn’t have jurisdiction to investigate this type of complaint.

“However, their formal complaint with the police department has triggered an investigation the city administration and the police department,” Nolden says. “This joint investigation is onogoing. We’ll be meeting with Tyler’s parents next week.”

The findings will be released to the City Council and public upon completion.

Smith had recently moved to California but was from Rochelle, Illinois near Rockford, and was in Galesburg for Army National Guard training.

Police Chief David Christensen told the Register Mail on Wednesday that he knows GPD didn’t treat the Smith investigation in any “discriminatory” manner.

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