20 January 2021

Illinois Takes Steps to Fix Policing in the State

It's not as extensive as it could be, there were some last minute bad cop favoring amendments, but the Illinois police reform bill has made it to the Governor's desk, who has announced his support for the bill.

The way that we know that this is a good bill is that the police unions are completely losing their shit over this, as well they should.

The high points of the bill are:

  • Expanding a database of police misconduct and requiring that those records be kept.
  • The elimination of cash bail.
  • Reduces the scope unions to negotiate disciplinary and certification issues.
  • Resisting arrest citations must include the predicate charge for the original arrest.
  • Expanded reporting on killings and applications of force.
  • Whistleblower protections.
  • Bans the use of military equipment.
  • Requires that redistricting on the state level be based on permanent locations, and not where someone is incarcerated.
  • Applies tighter standards to the use of force.
  • Narrows the felony murder statute.
  • Expands the list of crimes that would result in an officer being decertified.
  • Adds a duty to intervene for officers who witness police misconduct.

Unfortunagely, two of the best portions got dropped at the last minute:

  • Eliminating qualified immunity for police officers, which means that bad cops with bad records (see the NYPD's David "Bullethead" Grieco) are going to have to spend lots of money for liability insurance.
  • Completely eliminating the right to collective bargaining for the police on discipline matters. 

All in all, a very good bill, but I still want qualified immunity gone.

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