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New Illinois Legislation Addresses Police Misconduct

 Posted on February 15, 2021 in Civil Rights

Cook County civil rights lawyer for police misconductPeople can sustain injuries in various situations, such as car crashes, work-related accidents, and slip and falls. Victims may suffer minor to serious and even life-threatening injuries as a result of these incidents. However, individuals can also be subjected to harm at the hands of law enforcement. Unfortunately, those who are sworn to serve and protect sometimes do just the opposite. With a number of recent news stories describing unjustified police shootings and use of force, police brutality has come to the forefront of many government agendas. In January 2021, Illinois lawmakers passed a criminal justice reform bill that would address how police misconduct is handled, including allowing for anonymous complaints against officers.

Pretrial Fairness Act

The state legislature passed the Pretrial Fairness Act, but the bill is still awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature, and the governor is facing criticism and pressure from police department representatives and other organizations to veto the bill. The bill creates a more robust and progressive plan for monitoring police misconduct throughout the state, including requiring every Illinois police officer to use a body camera by 2025.

The provisions of the expansive criminal justice bill would:

  • Replace the current bail bond system with a new pretrial release program that would go into effect on January 1, 2023.

  • Permit use of force by police only when necessary to defend themselves or others from bodily harm during an arrest.

  • Prohibit certain uses of force, such as chokeholds and restraints placed above the shoulders, which can restrict breathing.

  • Prohibit using force as punishment or in retaliation without authority (such as using pepper spray or tear gas without first issuing a warning and allowing a crowd to disperse).

  • Require law enforcement personnel to provide immediate medical assistance to an injured person, even if that individual was hurt by the officer’s use of force. Also, intervention would be required when another officer uses excessive force, and these incidents must be reported within five days.

A key portion of the Pretrial Fairness Act would also eliminate cash bail bonds and pretrial incarceration by 2023. This means that many individuals accused of crimes in Illinois would be released while awaiting trial. It is important to note that defendants who are deemed a danger to the public would not be eligible for this option and would be kept in jail until their trial date.

Contact a Hyde Park Civil Rights Attorney

Police brutality and misconduct can take many different forms, and it can result in serious physical and mental injuries to the victim. At Kadzai Law Group, LLC, we understand the devastating consequences of civil rights violations. Our knowledgeable Chicago police brutality lawyers are well-versed in the recent changes to Illinois laws. We will work hard to protect your rights if you or your loved one have been harmed by a member of law enforcement. To schedule your free, confidential consultation, call us today at 312-229-0050.



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