Home / News / National / Illinois Democrats push through statewide ‘defund the police’ bill in middle of night
Photo: Daniel Schwen

Illinois Democrats push through statewide ‘defund the police’ bill in middle of night

Illinois‘ law enforcement community is warning Illinois citizens about a bill they say would effectively defund the police in the state. HB 163 could be passed the Illinois General Assembly‘s “lame duck” session that ends January 13.

A coalition of law enforcement groups issued a statement late last week saying “reforms” that are part of House Bill 163 as amended would “destroy law enforcement’s ability to keep communities safe.” The authors of the legislation are not law enforcement professionals, the groups say, and the bill was drafted without law enforcement input, and because of that the “long-term unintended consequences of this legislation would be dire.”

The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition said they recently enumerated its Safe Communities plan, a sensible approach to modernizing Illinois law enforcement, but House Bill 163 as amended would lead to unsafe communities in Illinois.

“We urge the Illinois General Assembly to avoid making a sudden, rash decision in the Lame Duck Session and instead work carefully with all stakeholders to truly examine what needs to be done regarding law enforcement in Illinois,” the group said.

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge, FOP Labor Council, FOP Chicago Lodge 7, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police formed the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition and have been working on strategies since summer to improve community safety and enhance the trust between community members and law enforcement.

The leaders of the Illinois effort – the Democrats’ Black Caucus – intends Illinois law enforcement changes to be dramatic. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association list the following 32 changes in the 611-page bill:

  • Requires In custody death reporting to AG
  • Requires statewide use of force policy
  • Eliminates prison gerrymandering
  • Eliminates Qualified Immunity for police officers, making them civilly liable to siren chasing trial lawyers
  • Eliminates Officer’s rights to Collectively Bargain, creating a “special class” of public employee who does not have these rights in Illinois
  • Eliminates impartial arbitration over burdensome residency requirements
  • Allows for unrestricted and ungoverned disciplinary policies of law enforcement officers
  • Prohibits departments from taking advantage of cost saving federal surplus programs or allowing the purchase of certain “militaristic” equipment
  • Allows officers to be punished or fired based on anonymous and unsubstantiated or unverifiable complaints-no sworn affidavits
  • Creates a co-responder model for social workers with corresponding grant funding from ICJIA
  • Mandates that those unsubstantiated and unverified complaints be kept to be used against officers forever, with no destruction and no limits on how they can be utilized to inflict harm on officers
  • Substantially increases both initial and ongoing education requirements with no money to pay for the increased costs and no assurances that the courses will even be offered
  • Mandates the use of body cameras by all departments for every officer with no money to pay for the cost of those cameras and 20 cut in LGDF funding if you don’t
  • Significantly increases the training requirements for those going through the academy and those that are already certified-provides NO money to do this
  • Defunds any department that does not comply 100% with the draconian requirements of the legislation
  • Eliminates funding for law enforcement agencies
  • Requires reporting to National use of force registry
  • No more suspending driver’s license for traffic violations
  • COMPLETE ban on chokeholds and anything above the shoulders regardless of threat of serious bodily injury or death
  • Eliminates Cash Bail
  • Enacts multiple benefits for felons-including access to victims compensation
  • Prohibits use of force in almost all situations, and makes officers criminally liable for virtually any use of force
  • Removes prohibitions against obstructing police officers
  • Requires duty to intervene
  • Eliminates felony murder
  • Institutes 3 phone call bill
  • Changes parameters for getting a warrant and requires a plan for certain situations
  • No custodial arrests for Category b or c offenses-citation only
  • Changes standard for conditions that have to be met to not allow for pretrial release
  • Eliminates charges for habitual criminals
  • Charges officers with Official Misconduct, a class 3 felony, for banal and incidental issues
  • Last, but not least…….EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Law enforcement groups are urging Illinois residents to call their lawmakers this week and encourage them to take into consideration their suggestions.

–Illinois Review