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Village Statement: River Forest Police Investigation

June, 4, 2020

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged River Forest resident Robert Palley (61) with one count of a Hate Crime and one count of Aggravated Battery (Public Place) after an incident in the Jewel parking lot on Wednesday morning. 

The Cook County Felony Review Unit recommended the charges after an investigation by the River Forest Police Department and prosecutors.

Mr. Palley is alleged to have committed a battery against a female, African-American woman in the parking lot of a Jewel Foods store (7525 W. Lake St.) following a verbal exchange that, according to the victim and witnesses, was racially-motivated.  

During the course of its investigation into the altercation between Mr. Palley and the victim, River Forest Police investigators sought felony charges against Mr. Palley for his role in the incident.

Mr. Palley will participate in an online bond hearing this afternoon.

“We have no tolerance for hate in River Forest,” said River Forest Village President Cathy Adduci.  “We appreciate and support the thorough work of our River Forest Police Department as well as the cooperation of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to hold those who engage in criminal activity that is motivated by hate fully accountable.  And, we applaud the witnesses that helped the investigators determine the facts in this case so that felony charges could be brought against this individual.  Finally, we’re pleased that officials from Jewel-Osco cooperated immediately by providing video footage, which helped us move forward quickly on this case.”