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August 13, 2022

Cumberland County FBI Investigation Requested: Allegations that Deputy sent racist message –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 14, 2020

Cumberland County, IL. (ECWd) –

Steve Carr, is a Cumberland County Deputy Sheriff who has in the past been suspended/placed on administrative leave for alleged things such as:

  • Death threats, threats of violence, and allegations of spouse abuse (here)
  • Suicide threats (here)

Now we have been informed that he has allegedly distributed a racist photograph (see it here) depicting a John Deere combine in a cotton field, with accompanying text reading “Thanks to John Deere black lives haven’t mattered for quite some time.”

We understand a citizen complaint has been filed with the Cumberland County Sheriff.

I contacted Deputy Carr via text to the number in the photograph:

  • I asked him if he sent the photo
  • He asked if there was any proof
  • I replied: “a screenshot with your phone number and time and date of the message and name of recipients.”
  • He said: “somebody illegally hacked into my personal phone to receive the information. A picture with my number by it is irrelevant. I have came to realize that anyone can put anybody’s name or number by anything even if it is not them and the news and public will run with it and do whatever they want with it. Slander, manipulation, and lies.”
  • I asked if the County or Sheriff reimburses part of his cell phone bill (no response)
  • I sent the photo and said, “so you are denying you sent this photo with the captioned text?”
  • No response – meaning he did not deny it.

Later I sent an FOIA request for public records to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office asking for the following:

  • Copy of all text/Facebook/email/phone or any other messages sent from telephone number 217-549-4477 on June 14, 2020, between noon and 1 p.m. that contains a photo/picture with text. This phone number belongs to Deputy Steve Carr and is either fully or partially reimbursed by the County or the Sheriff’s Department. When business or personal cell phones are fully or partially reimbursed by a public body, those messages may be treated as public records, and if such messages have been deleted from the device, the public body should direct the employee to obtain said records from the service provider.
  • Copy of the times (in and out) Deputy Steve Carr worked on June 14, 2020.
  • I lieu of providing the actual messages in number 1, above, a simple written confirmation by Steve Carr that he actually sent the message I asked him about (the pic of a combine in a cotton field with accompanying text) will fulfill this request.

Sheriff Maroon denied my records request stating that he had “turned over the recent investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to avoid any allegations of impartiality or conflict of interest.  In compliance with the below Illinois Statute, I will not be able to release the requested information due to this being a pending investigation

Sheriff Maroon also acknowledged that he would collect and obtain the requested records and keep them so they would not get deleted or destroyed.

What we do not know at this time, is if the Sheriff requested the investigation due to any alleged “hacking” of Deputy Carr’s phone, or if he requested the investigation because of allegations that Carr sent the racist message.

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9 Comments
  • Golden Country
    Posted at 20:43h, 14 July

    What a waste of federal resources looking into something like this

    • trent
      Posted at 10:18h, 17 July

      normally i would agree but this cop is corrupt and has many other complaints and allegations from racism and sexism to straight up threatening violence and bodily harm to many county residents. He should of been fired long ago, and that last round of facebook threats should of landed his ass in jail

    • jimbo
      Posted at 08:28h, 08 September

      This cop is a bad person all around and has threatened murder multiple times. He’s now showing his hate in other forms. Its only a matter of time until he murders someone. Theres no way this person should be a cop. Its not a waste of resources.

  • Sal Tessio
    Posted at 09:27h, 15 July

    What a waste of county resources keeping this yokel on the payroll.

  • Cw
    Posted at 14:23h, 15 July

    Good maybe this time someone will lock him up and charge him for the stolen guns and everything else he stole from lockup or actually didn’t make it there but also they will look back at the shooting he did and see if the suspect shot first there was no damage to cop car or Steve from a shot gun with bird shots in it with a wide spread something would have got hit but we will see how the fbi handles it this time and not politics on the board

  • Jerry Sidwell, Jr.
    Posted at 16:36h, 15 July

    Man do I need to have a conversation with you. This not even a drop in the bucket compared to the corruption I have witnessed. The jailers are great individuals. The sheriff’s department is scandalous.

    • Butch Tanner
      Posted at 08:37h, 20 July

      Don’t forget the court system to! Just I had a gun pulled on me and all they had to say was well not my problem. Clark county is getting to be the same way.

  • douglas johnson
    Posted at 23:05h, 16 July

    well well well, imagine my surprise. I wonder where tim mcmeechan is, he is usually not this late to a “but my boyfriend steve!” party

  • Tim Mcmechan
    Posted at 19:16h, 18 July

    Awww Douglas Johnson….
    Are you mad at me for pointing out the love of your life left you and came CRAWLING back knocked up with someone else’s kid before you got with her or mad that Carr had the vehicle you were driving towed when it broke down and was abandoned and you didn’t even own it?

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