Statement by President Davis on deaths of Rittmanic, Silas and Riley

January 5, 2022

On May 27th, 2020, I penned a letter as president of my regional police chief’s association denouncing the killing of George Floyd. While there had been other unfortunate instances of civilian deaths during police encounters, this one was different. That letter was generated after being brought to tears from watching video with Mr. Floyd begging for his life and ultimately seeing him take his last breath. I was criticized for publishing the statement by some and applauded by others, both inside and outside of law enforcement, but it was something that I felt that I needed to do as a leader, and I don’t regret it.

On January 5, 2022, I find myself again penning a letter denouncing a murder during a police encounter, but this time as the President of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. This particular police encounter involved the execution of Bradley Police Department Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and the shooting of her partner Officer Tyler Bailey. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for officers to lose their lives in the line of duty, but just as with George Floyd, this one was different. 

Sergeant Rittmanic and Officer Bailey simply responded to what some would refer to as a “routine call”. They were dispatched to a hotel parking lot to check the wellbeing of dogs left unattended in a vehicle. In the aftermath of the incident, a review of bodycam footage would reveal Sergeant Rittmanic begging “You don’t have to do this! Please just go! Please don’t! Please don’t!” before being executed with her own weapon. Hearing Sergeant Rittmanic beg for her life before being executed was heart wrenching. On that same day, Wayne County Deputy Sheriff Sean Riley was ambushed and murdered when dispatched to a “routine call” for a motorist assist on the side of the roadway. These murders show others what law enforcement officers already know: there are no “routine calls”.

I want to make it clear that attacks on public servants are not just limited to law enforcement. Just yesterday, DCFS Investigator Deidre Silas was murdered while responding to a report of children in danger in Thayer, which is south of Springfield. Investigator Silas had only been with DCFS for 4 months. It is my prayer that the murders of Sergeant Rittmanic, Deputy Riley and Investigator Silas will serve as a rally cry for us all to unapologetically acknowledge that public servants of all kinds honorably and equitably go about the business of serving our communities daily; sometimes to the extent of losing their lives while trying to ensure the wellbeing of our most vulnerable. My outrage and heartbreak in these murders equals that of which I felt in May of 2020! 

In 2018, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the NAACP partnered to create the “10 Shared Principles”. These mutually agreed upon values and principles were created to “replace mistrust with mutual trust wherever, whenever, and however we can.” These are SHARED principles, which means that they pertain to everyone. The 1st principle states, “We value the life of every person and consider life to be the highest value.” 

The Illinois Association of Chief of Police stands by this and all the principles. We consider the lives of Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic, Deputy Sheriff Sean Riley, and DCFS Investigator Deidre Silas to be of the highest value. I would ask everyone to keep them, their families, and the members of their agencies in your prayers and thoughts. I also challenge all of us to promote the 1st Shared Principle in the hearts and minds of everyone that we encounter.



Mitchell R. Davis III, President
Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police