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Illinois assembly passes police reform bill

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SPRINGFIELD — A police reform bill supported by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and opposed by police passed the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday.

WEEK-TV, an NBC affiliate in Peoria, reported that House Bill 3653 passed the state senate early Wednesday morning.

The ACLU of Illinois said that a large majority, more than 90%, of Illinois voters support the goals of the bill.

If signed, the bill would:

  • Create uniformity during the review process
  • Promote professionalism
  • Increase transparency
  • Eliminate cash bail
  • Require records of police misconduct to be preserved
  • Require body cameras on all police in the statet

Activists welcomed the passage.

“The bill includes components of police accountability and criminal legal system reform policy changes that advocates, including the ACLU of Illinois, have been working to move forward for years, and pushing non-stop since the summer,” said Khadine Bennett, advocacy and intergovernmental affairs director of the ACLU of Illinois. “Among other important ACLU priorities, the bill removes an antiquated and unnecessary requirement that those making complaints against police sign a sworn statement. And, the bill addresses the real harm of our bail system which keeps people detained simply because of their economic status. “

“These certification reforms are the result of collaboration between my office, law enforcement, advocates and the sponsors – Rep. Justin Slaughter and Sen. Elgie Sims. Senator Tim Bivins began this journey years ago, and I am proud that today we have reached our destination and will be implementing meaningful reform that will promote professionalism, increase transparency and restore the public’s trust in law enforcement,” Raoul said. “I applaud the tireless effort of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to address criminal justice reform in Illinois in a comprehensive manner.”

The attorney general’s office said the assembly also giving the Illinois Attorney General’s office clear authority under state law to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing by local and state agencies.

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police condemned the passage.

“It ties the hands of police officers while pursuing suspects and making arrests, and allows criminals to run free while out on bail,” the Illinois FOP said in a Facebook post. “The legislation includes no way to pay for any of these law abiding citizen-threatening measures, so taxpayers will have to pay extra for the privilege of being crime victims.”

WEEK reported that the bill now goes to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

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