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Rep. Ford attempts to clarify remarks

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Politico

[House Speaker Chris Welch] says there are two areas they already agree on. There will be language clarifying what officers of the court should be doing during the transition days of Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. That’s when state’s attorneys should be acting in “good faith” to file motions to make sure people who are dangerous to another person or community are detained in jail, said Welch. “Those acting in bad faith — saying Jan. 1 is when people will be let out of jail — that’s not what the law says in any way,” Welch said.

A second area that’s agreed upon is language that clarifies that a judge can issue warrants from the bench. “There’s some confusing language in the statute as it’s written now that says judges don’t have the ability to issue bench warrants. We agree on language that will clear that up.” Welch explained.

An issue they’re still debating: Language about when police officers can arrest someone for trespassing.

* AP

Various lawmakers see parts of the law that give them pause. Rep. La Shawn Ford, for example, fears problems could arise from a change that allows police to confront trespassers with a misdemeanor ticket instead of arrest. In other words, if you call the police because someone’s on your property without permission and you call the police, the police might hand out a ticket but not remove the violator.

“If they’re not welcome, then they should not be left on public property, or private property,” said Ford, a Chicago Democrat. “Because what happens? You’ll see the homeowner taking matters into their own hands. You’ll see people killing people. They’ll say, ‘Don’t even call the police.’”

We’ve been over this numerous times before. As a reminder, from 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.

When I asked Rep. Ford about his comments to the AP, he said “No law should be gray or blurry,” adding that “we know the leaders of FOP clouded the issue. It’s not worth the fight.” And, he said, “We have to take away excuses for misconduct.”

Except he also went all-in on the opposition’s dark rhetoric of how people will be killing trespassers.

       

17 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:32 am:

    ===“Because what happens? You’ll see the homeowner taking matters into their own hands. You’ll see people killing people. They’ll say, ‘Don’t even call the police.’”===

    Tick tock people. Do I need to buy a gun before January 1 or not?


  2. - vern - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:44 am:

    === When I asked Rep. Ford about his comments to the AP, he said “No law should be gray or blurry,” adding that “we know the leaders of FOP clouded the issue. It’s not worth the fight.” And, he said, “We have to take away excuses for misconduct.”===

    Sounds like the Freedom Caucus illiteracy bug has already spread across the aisle. We might need to start contact tracing and other mitigation. Someone in the House needs to be able to read.


  3. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    “No law should be gray or blurry”

    Then I have some deeply troubling news about the majority of laws.

    – MrJM


  4. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    I always feel the need to remind my experience with Rep Ford is that he was the laziest and most arrogant representative I had the displeasure of working with.


  5. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Then I have some deeply troubling news about the majority of laws.

    Not only that, but humans are incredibly obstinate about doing things in the oddest ways possible so that nothing you could write would cover it.


  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:15 am:

    –a change that allows police to confront trespassers with a misdemeanor ticket instead of arrest.–

    Isn’t this true though? The law *allows* the police the discretion to make this decision on their own. The law doesn’t force police to only issue a ticket - they are making that choice themselves.

    The police have decided to change the messaging that the law is forcing them to *only* issue tickets without removing someone, which is the incorrect part. Basically, the police have created messaging that will allow them to not remove trespassers out of spite and the public will think the law is causing it, and not the decision of the specific officer.

    I hope lessons have been learned about trying to ‘work with’ police in creating laws that define police behaviors and accountability. Give them what they want or not, they will still figuratively throw you under the bus to shield themselves from accountability.


  7. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    “If they’re not welcome, then they should not be left on public property, or private property,” said Ford, a Chicago Democrat.”

    No one can be “removed” from occupying public property unless committing a crime.


  8. - Pundent - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    =No law should be gray or blurry=

    The laws that you’re unfamiliar with and/or haven’t bothered to read will always appear gray and blurry.


  9. - duck duck goose - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 12:29 pm:

    =No law should be gray or blurry=

    He’s right. And if, when interpreting the statute, one must resort to reviewing of a task-force comment, then the statute is ambiguous on its face. Why not clear it up and take the issue off the table?

    If the law is settled by the task-force comment, then why are they having issues coming up with the language? Just cut-and-paste what the task force said. Either it’s not so settled or they’re tinkering with what is settled.


  10. - BCOSEC - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 1:19 pm:

    Sounds like the PFA will be clarified to make it retroactive to pre-2023 arrests.

    Hopefully the trailer bill will address with clarity the various issues regarding application of the PFA to pre-2023 arrests.

    No legislation is ever perfect, but the more clarity the better. The task force has in good faith noted ambiguities and hopefully those are being addressed in the trailer bill.


  11. - tom - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    What about the elephant in the living room? The lack of a public safety standard? The NJ law includes this but the Illinois law requires identification of a “specific” person.


  12. - fs - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 1:56 pm:

    == The law doesn’t force police to only issue a ticket - they are making that choice themselves.==

    That’s not necessarily true. It’s also not really what’s at issue. The law will now say that a person shall be issued a ticket in lieu of custodial arrest for certain classes of misdemeanors, which includes most instances of trespassing.

    The “gray area” is what constitutes an “arrest”. It’s ambiguous enough to be worthy of clarification to make it absolutely clear. Especially if the people who are going to be responsible for enforcing it are saying they need it to be clearer. The task force interpretation seems clear enough that it should be a no-brainer to add.


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===The law will now say that a person shall be issued a ticket in lieu of custodial arrest for certain classes of misdemeanors, which includes most instances of trespassing===

    It also says police can arrest someone they deem a threat, or who have no ID or who are mentally ill.


  14. - H-W - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    Clarify this Rep. Ford: “If they’re not welcome, then they should not be left on public property.”

    Isn’t that addressed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and subsequent Federal rulings?


  15. - JoanP - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 3:12 pm:

    = What about the elephant in the living room? =

    Pretty sure you’d need to call Animal Control for that.


  16. - fs - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==It also says police can arrest someone they deem a threat, or who have no ID or who are mentally ill.==

    Correct, but “threat” is open to interpretation. The question is and should be: if you have an opportunity to clarify the intent enough to make it clear that an officer can remove someone from the property, and not wait until they feel they have cleared one of those thresholds, why not do so? This should’ve been done 8 months ago.


  17. - Pundent - Tuesday, Nov 29, 22 @ 3:59 pm:

    =Correct, but “threat” is open to interpretation.=

    Ironically a defense often offered up by the police to justify their actions. Seems like they want to have it both ways and make those determinations only when it suits them.


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