- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - A jury was selected Monday to hear a lawsuit filed against the city of Rockford by a church where police shot and killed an unarmed black man in 2009.

Kingdom Authority International Ministries Church is seeking compensation for emotional distress suffered by children and day care operators who were present when Mark Anthony Barmore was killed. The church also claims it lost revenue after the shooting. Opening statements are expected Tuesday.

The Rev. Melvin Brown tells the Rockford Register Star (http://bit.ly/1SubJ6o ) that about 150 children were enrolled at the day care when the shooting occurred, compared with 50 children today.

“This room here has been empty since the shooting,” said the Rev. Melvin Brown during an interview last week, indicating the church day care’s brightly equipped and decorated preschool room that once accommodated 16 children. “The day of the shooting we lost half of our kids. This is a room that’s fully ready to go. You got infants, toddlers and preschool. This would be a preschool room and now this room is empty.”

Neither the day care nor the church, which lost about 75 percent of its membership, has ever recovered, Brown said.

As many as 45 witnesses are expected to testify during the trial at the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center. The trial is expected to last one to three weeks.

Rockford Police Department officers Oda Poole and Stan North on Aug. 24, 2009, chased Barmore into the church and trapped him in a boiler room. A confrontation ensued as Poole and North forced open a door to the boiler room. Barmore was shot at least four times during what North and Poole said was a struggle for Poole’s firearm.

According to an investigation by the Cook County Integrity Task Force and the state police, a Winnebago County Grand Jury did not indict the officers, and authorities determined the shooting a justified use of force.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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