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Criminal justice reform coverage roundup

Thursday, Jan 28, 2021

* Sun-Times

House Republicans on Wednesday urged Gov. J.B. Pritzker to veto a sweeping criminal justice bill passed by the Legislature earlier this month that they say will create “major public safety issues.”

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the state must “thoroughly and carefully address police reform and criminal justice reform. It is the right thing to do.”

“I believe no person should have to live in fear of their government, and we must address those issues,” the Western Springs Republican said in a Zoom news conference Wednesday. “House Bill 3653 doesn’t do it. In short, it is a confusing, inoperable and contradictory attempt to reform policing and the criminal justice system.

“The [legislation], in its whole, is a document that lacks clarity and will be unworkable for police, the judiciary, defense attorneys and prosecutors.”

The main concerns for the House Republican leader, who was joined by state Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, and Joe Moon, president of Illinois Troopers Lodge 41, are the end of cash bail and mandating that police officers wear body cameras.

* Mike Miletich

[Sponsoring Sen. Elgie Sims] says this plan included every suggestion from the coalition of law enforcement involved in the process. He describes HB 3653 as a good officer protection plan.

“It allows officers to be able to do their job effectively and invests in training. It also invests in officer wellness,” Sims added. “Investing in all of those things will help those officers who want to do the job well.”

Moon mentioned law enforcement worked with Attorney General Kwame Raoul on the proposal for decertification and licensing of officers. However, Moon said they never expected lawmakers to quickly ram that proposal with the massive criminal justice package. Lodge members already started calling the office with concerns about continuing as troopers. Some close to retirement told Moon they don’t want to continue working without the support from Illinois.

“I’ve had new troopers reach out to me and say if this bill passes they will have to seriously consider, for their safety and the safety of their family, continuing to do this job. So, there are severe repercussions if this bill passes,” Moon said.

We’ve all heard these threats to quit before. Every time the Legislature enacts police reform, the cops predict massive resignations and retirements.

* Fox 32

Specifically, the police union and top Republican lawmakers object to provisions in HB3653 that would make it easier to discipline and fire law enforcement officers and would expand Cook County’s experiment with no-cash bail throughout the state.

They note the accused killers of retired Chicago Fire Department Lt. Dwain Williams were out on a no-cash bond on charges including home invasion, kidnapping and illegally possessing a firearm and stolen vehicle.

“It’s not isolated. I could spend another hour talking about individuals released for crimes they committed which were violent in nature, were put back out on the street and once again, committed violent crimes and even murders,” said Rep. Jim Durkin.

Supporters say HB3653 would allow judges to keep those with a history of violence locked up while they await trial on new charges.

“Folks who should be held in our jails are done so based on a dangerousness score,” said Rep. Kam Buckner.

Gov. Pritzker said on Thursday he supports many of the reforms in HB3653, but will need up to two months to decide whether to sign it or veto it.

The bill hasn’t even been sent to the governor yet.


The governor’s office hasn’t said yet if Pritzker plans to sign this particular bill.

Please. He’s gonna sign the bill.

* Meanwhile, I told subscribers about this a couple of times in the past few days, but not a single news outlet has written about it except the local public access TV station

At the latest DuPage County Board meeting the group discussed a resolution that would recommend to Governor J.B. Pritzker to veto House Bill 3653. […]

The board voted 10-8 to postpone the discussion indefinitely.

They basically tabled it despite (or maybe because of) over the top testimony from the local sheriff. DuPage is changing.

* Related…

* Every Illinois police officer would be required to wear a body camera by 2025 under bill awaiting Pritzker’s signature. But without penalties, will departments comply?

* Controversial president of Chicago police union, already under threat of firing from officer job, faces new charges at Police Board

* Here’s a ward by ward breakdown of Chicago carjackings for the past three years

* Rep. Maurice West’s Community Connection: Criminal Justice Reform Package

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    I would never have guessed that some of our law enforcement folks were so sensitive. Educators have been the recipient of “reforms” for decades so I don’t have much empathy for them and their pearl clutching.

    And all of this and they didn’t even lose their qualified immunity.

  2. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 12:58 pm:

    What is the opposition to cameras? Is it the cameras, or fear subsequent legislation will require video to be retained for extended periods of time, “redacted” videos to be released on a FOIA timeline, etc.?

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    ==But without penalties, will departments comply?==

    Regarding the bodycams, I thought I had read that the penalty for non-compliance was a 10 percent cut to the LGDF funding from the state.

    Or am I mixing that up with some other penalty under the bill.

  4. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:10 pm:

    “He’s gonna sign the bill.”

    I was thinking the big question is whether or not it helps/hurts to do a bill-signing event, or just to sign it quietly. This legislation seems to be the main GOP talking point going into next year.

  5. - Motambe - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:16 pm:

    “He’s gonna sign the bill.” Mr. Miller is right.
    My money says it will be press release. “After serious study and review, Governor Pritzker has affixed his signature to HB 3653…… “. Letting it become law without his signature brings catcalls of cowardice. Vetoing the bill creates more political backlash than signing it.

  6. - DriXander - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    TheInvisibleMan, that provision came out of the version that was passed.

  7. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    Body cameras protect innocent officers from frivolous lawsuits and perhaps as important irreparable damage to their reputation, the reputation of their fellow officers and the reputation of their department.

  8. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    Those who cannot perform the job of police officer should seek other employment.

  9. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    Signing is very likely…the “keep talking posse” might want offer some real improvement…right now they sound like pre body cam/ certification foes. And anti min wage hike crowd.

  10. - SumGai1986 - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==Please. He’s gonna sign the bill.==


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    ===As-is? ===


  12. - Jocko - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==What is the opposition to cameras?==

    It’s reminds me of the Catholic Church’s objection to report suspected abuse to the police…following empty promises of handling it internally.

  13. - DuPage - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 3:06 pm:

    Isn’t there some kind of amendatory signing where the governor makes changes and the legislature accepts or rejects the changes? Or am I thinking of something else?

  14. - Third Reading - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    DuPage, there are a couple things you might be thinking of.

    There’s an Amendatory Veto in which the governor vetoes the bill but says, here are my changes to make it OK with me. The GA then decides whether to take up those changes. They can accept the changes or override the changes. If they don’t do anything, the whole thing is dead, because an AV is a VETO.

    On budget(appropriation) bills, the governor can go through and do reduction vetoes on specific lines. The rest of the budget goes into effect and the reductions go back to the GA for the opportunity to restore those specific funding lines.
    Since the reform bill isn’t an appropriations bill, this process doesn’t apply to the current situation.

  15. - Kayak - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    I remember when Law Enforcement claimed passage of adullt use cannabis would cause society to unravel at the seams. They had a seat at the table then spreading misinformation daily. Today, HB3653 feels no different.

  16. - Shytown - Thursday, Jan 28, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    Whenever big change happens, in the form of social progress, the status quo’s go-to is to spread fear and/or hate. This is no different. As members of the caucus have been saying for months, their communities have been waiting for generations for this to change. They shouldn’t have to wait any longer. The Governor will sign it despite fear mongering because he knows it’s the right thing to do.

  17. - RS - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 7:04 am:

    Chicago is already a war zone. Sign the bill and we’ll see just how much worse it can get. Good luck to the Windy City.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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