HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Nu Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity has started a petition asking for federal and state authorities to take over the death investigation of their brother Jelani Day.
Day was last seen on August 24 at the Illinois State University campus. Jelani’s family as well as a faculty member of ISU reported him missing after he did not show up for classes for several days.
On September 4, a body found in the Illinois River was confirmed by the LaSalle County Coroner to be Jelani Day. He was 25.
A protest requested by Day’s family was recently held in Illinois, demanding the FBI get involved with the investigation.
In the petition, Day’s fraternity brothers demand a formal investigation be launched to bring justice for Jelani’s family. They explain their concern for the way the Bloomington Police Department (BPD) has handled the investigation so far, referring to some concerning facts admitted by the department’s public information officer (PIO), John Fermon.
During a news conference on September 24, Fermon stated the department had an “inability to assign multiple investigators” to the case. Fermon also admitted the following during that press conference:
- Failure to utilize current investigative and analytical tools; Day’s body was discovered on September 4 but was not positively identified until September 23.
- Failure to secure critical surveillance video; Bloomington PD did not secure or request security videos from nearby establishments where Jelani was last seen.
- Failure to secure and process crime scene after Jelani’s body was found; College students found Jelani’s clothes at the location days after removing his body from the Illinois River.
- Failure to request federal assistance.
Jelani Day’s fraternity brothers at AAMU write in the petition:
“Jelani is loved and represents the absolute best of our beloved fraternity; therefore, bringing those responsible for this heinous act to justice is not a request but a demand.
The person(s) responsible for Jelani’s death is now walking our community free, and we will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice.
We urgently await your response, contact and coordination with the Day family for whom we stand beside to demand justice.”
The petition needs 15,000 signatures, and as of this writing, sits at 13,655.