Daily Egyptian

Carbondale community members protest, call for mayor’s resignation

By Rana Schenke, News Editor

Over 25 protestors gathered at the Carbondale Civic Center last night for a sit-in protest against Mayor John “Mike” Henry.

“We’re here because Mayor Henry had a domestic dispute right before the election,” Devarsi, a community member and protestor, said. “The police responded to it and it was covered up by [the Henrys] and the police.”

The protest comes after the Southern Illinoisan obtained an SIU Police incident report containing details about the incident in question via a Freedom of Information Act request.


According to the Southern’s article on the report, details from the report appear to contradict a social media post by Henry about the incident in which he said, “There was never any violence, or threat of violence.”

The report, obtained by the Daily Egyptian, describes injuries to Henry and blood on the clothing of his wife, Theresa “Terri” Henry.

According to a Carbondale Police press statement released April 1, no arrests were made and there were no injuries requiring medical treatment.

The incident report describes a bite mark on Henry’s hand and scratches on his chest. Theresa had bloody clothing and she reported being struck.

The report said arrests were not made due to inconsistencies in the statements given by Henry and his wife and a lack of evidence.

(See more: Police respond to ‘disturbance’ at mayor’s house Saturday night, Henry responds)

Protestors at the Civic Center said they were calling for Henry to resign immediately and would not leave until he did.

“If this happened to anyone else someone would have left in handcuffs, but he was running for mayor and this was a few days before the election,” Devarsi said. “This is not okay and we cannot have someone that is a domestic abuser as our mayor. That’s just not okay.”

According to Devarsi, the group consisted mostly of concerned citizens representing different groups in the city.

Connor Sullivan, a junior studying political science at SIU, said he showed up after seeing the article in the Southern.

“We would have never found out about this had they not filed a Freedom of Information Act,” Sullivan said. “I think the mayor and the police are very well aware that if people saw this report before the election, they would have never voted for this guy.”

Sullivan said he thinks charges should be filed.

“There is no place for domestic violence in a civilized society, and we shouldn’t accept it from our leaders, we shouldn’t accept it from anybody,” Sullivan said.

Julianna Johnson, another protestor, said she finds what happened unacceptable.

“Even though the wife says that it was not a domestic dispute, what woman in a domestic abuse situation would ever say?” Johnson said. “Especially when her husband’s the mayor.”

Johnson said she was not a Henry supporter but was not why she showed up to protest.

“I wouldn’t just sit out just to be like, ‘I don’t like this elected official,’ but it’s a lot different when it’s like 99.9% a probability he beat his wife,” Johnson said. “If this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t come out to a protest against him.”

At the time of publishing, Mayor Henry has not responded to phone calls requesting comment.

Carbondale Public Relations officer Amy Fox said the city could not comment on the protest because of the personal nature of the incident.

News Editor Rana Schenke can be reached at [email protected].

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10 Responses to “Carbondale community members protest, call for mayor’s resignation”

  1. Michael on April 11th, 2019 6:30 pm

    Congratulations. You’ve just described a person who had a bad reaction to her medicine.
    Perhaps the Mayor was trying to protect her from the embarrassment of this being made
    public. Now you may have shamed everyone.
    This is a developing argument.

  2. Tony Williams on April 11th, 2019 6:56 pm

    Guess The southern (Confederate) must have taken the night off since they did not report it. I wonder why?

  3. Stupid.com on April 11th, 2019 6:59 pm

    Adults can not argue in their own house?

  4. Citizen on April 12th, 2019 8:29 am

    Instead of calling its elected officials to higher standards, Southern Illinois continues to protect them and make excuses for them. (Look at the above comments for examples.) We need transparency and honest discussion if we are to face the real issues that challenge us – not political pandering and excuses. I join the protesters in calling for Henry’s resignation, and encourage others to do so as well.

  5. Ambrr on April 12th, 2019 11:40 am

    Even if it was the other way around he hid it and the report before redaction said the foot police heard screaming. It’s fine to argue but when clear violence is shown something should be done. It’s the cover up and lack of transparency. If you are running for office or are a civil servant such as a mayor you should be held to the rules and regulations. No one should be above the law.

  6. Brad on April 12th, 2019 1:58 pm

    Columbo’s supporters are so MAD he lost lol.

    The progressive hivemind is so tiring.

  7. Thomas Barrett on April 12th, 2019 2:50 pm

    This is typical of liberals. They hold everyone to the #metoo standard but their own. Mr Henry should be put in jail pending trial. Sob

  8. Michael on April 12th, 2019 8:29 pm

    Typical. The only visible injuries were to the mayor and yet people want him prosecuted. Typical liberal left metoo crap. She was obviously the aggressor but is still innocent in these protestors minds.

  9. Nana on April 13th, 2019 8:50 am

    How about everyone is entitled to their own privacy! Just because your an elected official does not mean you have no right to privacy in your personal life.

    This issue has not been validated as spousal abuse!. It’s not an issue that needs to be made public because it doesn’t affect the responsibilities of the office, to the public.

    How about we worry about what’s happening in our own home before we try to get into other people’s homes?

  10. Suferbus on April 14th, 2019 2:17 pm

    I’m related to the people in this story and I can tell you there was no violence coming from the Mayor. Period

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