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More proof that the Tribune editorial board doesn’t read its own newspaper

Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune editorial

Before the SAFE-T Act, if someone was trespassing on your property, you could call police and have them arrested on a misdemeanor charge. Under the new law, the most police can do is hand the offender a ticket, if that person doesn’t pose a threat to the community. There’s no mechanism to get the offender to leave.


* From

One claim often misrepresented is that as of Jan. 1, police will no longer be able to arrest someone for trespassing on a residential front porch, backyard shed, business or other private property. Many falsely claim that police will only be able to write a ticket and that the law would prevent officers from arresting a trespasser.

“We’re fearful that many of these events will end up in a physical altercation,” Glotz said in the video message. Homeowners will have to fend for themselves against violent perpetrators as law enforcement helplessly stands down, in other words.

Numerous nonpartisan groups have debunked the claim.

“Police officers still have the discretion to arrest someone if they determine that they threaten public safety,” InjusticeWatch reported Sept. 15.

Contrary to claims by Glotz, Pekau and others, the SAFE-T Act does not prevent police officers from arresting someone for trespassing, the State Journal-Register reported Monday.

“The bill’s only explicit mention of trespassing refers to trespass of vehicles, but still applies due to the degree of the crime,” the newspaper reported. “Typically listed as a Class B misdemeanor, a charge for criminal trespassing can lead up to six months in jail or a $1,500 fine.”

* Civic Federation

The law does not prohibit police officers from arresting and removing criminal trespassers from private property if the person poses a threat to the community, any person, or their own safety. Police officers will continue to be able to use their discretion about what constitutes a public safety risk in these instances. For example, see this flow chart for guidance on citation procedures.

From that flow chart, which was produced by the Illinois Supreme Court’s Implementation Task Force

Law enforcement organizations do have discretion to remove the person from the location of the alleged criminal activity, and then cite and release the person from another location.

* From a column I wrote more than a month ago

Hinsdale Village President Tom Cauley recently said, according to the Hinsdale Patch, “I guarantee you that we’re going to find ourselves with people just camped out in parks, and we cannot ask them to leave. They may be in your backyard or in your shed living there.”


The Illinois Supreme Court’s Implementation Task Force has officially advised law enforcement they “do have discretion to remove the person from the location of the alleged criminal activity, and then cite and release the person from another location.” Repeated refusals to comply could then easily be interpreted as being a threat, which would allow an arrest.

It just seems to me that tightening up the law’s language to fully reflect the task force’s guidance and resulting inference about arrests would be a no-brainer response to the question about changes [Gov. Pritzker] wants to make.

And Amdor explains what activists are actually saying…


  1. - Amalia - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:47 am:

    SAFE-T Act or Pre Trial Fairness Act The name disconnect is the problem of how the act is messaged.

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:50 am:

    === The name disconnect is the problem===

    The much bigger problem is the gross disinformation coming from what are supposed to be reputable news media outlets.

  3. - Holding Back - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:52 am:

    There is many things that will need to be fixed to implement this type of system. As an insider, there too many questions with no answers yet.

  4. - Homebody - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:55 am:

    The trespass clause is the same as the no cash bail clause in that the people complaining about it are mostly just complaining because they will actually have to do their job and justify their actions now.

    Abolishing cash bail means states attorneys now actually have to justify why someone should be locked up when they haven’t been found guilty of something. The arrest clause now means police have to justify why they are arresting someone for something that the punishment is generally going to just be a fine anyways.

    The last couple decades have really opened my eyes to how the biggest offense in the view of a lot of law enforcement is to have the gall to actually ask them to do their jobs.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:55 am:

    The disinformation that Proft used in his vertical integration that was regurgitated later by media in the ongoing cycle of trying to “win the day” with the GOP hurt.

    There were folks here commenting as the next Willie Horton was eminent… and the Act wasn’t even in force.

    The clarity with trailer bills so there’s no misunderstanding, or better, misinforming, of folks trying to know about things in sound bites, that’s what could be done this Veto Session.

    Honest discussion to honest facts.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:56 am:

    The Tribune editorial board sounding more like a Proft editorial board than honesty to their own reporting is very Tribune Editorial-like

  7. - Keyrock - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    Chris Jones is busy. He’s still writing theater reviews from New York, as well as Chicago. He doesn’t have time to learn about issues discussed on the editorial page.

  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    In all fairness, the Trib news story is probably behind a paywall that the Trib editorial board doesn’t want to pay to access.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    - Michelle Flaherty -

    I’m still laughing. That’s well played.

  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    –Law enforcement organizations do have discretion–

    And this is where the rubber is going to meet the road.

    How many police are going to ‘use their discretion’, and do nothing - for the petty purpose of using their positions to display their anger at a law which attempts to bring accountability to them.

    It’s only going to take one instance going bad, and then somewhere like patch will mindlessly print the justification of a mayor like the one in Downers Grove to ‘prove’ their initial objections are now being proven correct.

    The law isn’t worth the paper it is printed on, if the local authorities refuse to enforce it or worse actively work to undermine it. To me the law is fine, it’s the people who are going to abuse their positions of authority who are going to be causing a decline in the local quality of life for their residents.

  11. - Furtive Look - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 10:20 am:

    Thanks for shining some light on this.

  12. - cover - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 10:20 am:

    Proponents of bail reform should point to this example (in Wisconsin, not in Illinois) showing the downside of allowing cash bail - this guy has made bail 3 times:

  13. - TJ - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 10:25 am:

    I don’t think that the Tribune Editorial Board reads anything other than alarmist headlines.

  14. - Hull Tigers - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 10:40 am:

    The Theatre Critic has great hubris, despite his ignorance.

  15. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    All that stuff about the Act being suddenly passed in the middle of the night with no prior input from stakeholders has been pretty thoroughly debunked as well. The Trib editorial board is an embarrassment both to itself and to the city.

  16. - Amalia - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    hoping they fix the law to allow judges to consider previous avoidance of appearances.

  17. - Jerry - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    When the “L” has a stop in Hinsdale then you can worry about people camping in the parks.

  18. - Annonin' - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    “coming from what are supposed to be reputable news media outlets.”
    It should be noted that most media a bootlicks for cops cause they don’t want to be cut off from police news and tips. That can breakdown with events like the MacDonald gundown.
    Maybe someone could sign-up Leader Curran to do state wide fly around reading the Supreme Court report as a good faith effort to see if GOPies want to help or just stall somemore.

  19. - Annonin' - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    Speaking of not reading the paper yesterday the Editorial Page ran an epistle from Jim Nolan about rebuilding the IL GOP. Without making a case for why this might be needed, Nowlan suggested the braintrust include the son of the ConfessedCongressman at the helm. Shrewd get the guy who lied to the FBI and filed false paperwork and got a sleazy, special deal from Trump lead the GOPies.

  20. - Tom Keane - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    Let the gop rebuild , wont work. With the great minds running this state , assuming no more are charged with crimes we should be fine

  21. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 3:28 pm:

    If the GOP could move toward a center-right organization laser-focused on good governance and not anti-union, anti-gay, pro-Christian dominance, etc. it might be a party more useful than just being a mat to stomp on every couple years.

  22. - JoanP - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 4:11 pm:

    = hoping they fix the law to allow judges to consider previous avoidance of appearances. =


    The Act DOES allow judges to consider prior failures to appear. But to appear cannot be the SOLE reason to deny bail. Judges can certainly look at why the person missed a court date, and take that into account. Were they in the hospital, or did they take a vacation to the Bahamas? It makes a difference.

  23. - JoanP - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 4:12 pm:

    Sorry, that should have been:

    But failure to appear cannot be the sole reason . . .

    (Another day I wish there were an “edit” function here.)

  24. - Amalia - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 4:20 pm:

    thanks, Joan P. but I disagree that it could not be the sole reason. a defendant’s past behavior could be absolutely predictive and should not be disallowed.

  25. - We've never had one before - Thursday, Nov 17, 22 @ 9:05 pm:

    >>>>How many police are going to ‘use their discretion’, and do nothing -

    - because they are following department policy to not arrest trespassers merely for trespassing?

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