Illinois Senate passes modified police reform bill, sends bill to House

State News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois Senators passed a modified police reform bill during the lame-duck session Wednesday morning.

The modified version of the bill, House Bill 3653 (formerly House Bill 163) was approved by the state legislative body. The bill is more than 750 pages long. The Legislative Black Caucus proposed the bill before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The intent of the original bill was to implement police reforms across the state, including getting rid of qualified immunity for police officers. That measure is not in the modified bill, and there are fewer restrictions on the use of force.

The bill would end cash bail for people who are not considered a flight risk and require body cameras for police departments. It would also change record-keeping for police misconduct.

“In the dark of night Illinois legislators made Illinois less safe,” a coalition of Illinois law enforcement organizations told WCIA.

“We had been working in good faith with the Attorney General on a bill that would make great strides to modernize law enforcement, but that legislation was dumped into this monster bill and the result is a betrayal of the public trust that gives many more advantages to criminals than the police,” the coalition statement said. “It ties the hands of police officers while pursuing suspects and making arrests, and allows criminals to run free while out on bail. 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.”

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