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Last updated March 5, 2020
No knock warrants
Illinois has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. Legislators in the Legislative Black Caucus planned to introduce legislation in the fall of 2020 that would eliminate no knock warrants, but the session was postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
HB 3653, signed into law in February 2021, prohibits the Illinois State Police from requesting or puchasing equipment like: (1) tracked armored vehicles; (2) weaponized aircraft, vessels, or vehicles; (3) firearms of .50-caliber or higher; (4) ammunition of .50-caliber or higher; (5) grenade launchers; or (6) bayonets. Though law enforcement agencies may still request other military grade equipment, they must publish the details of their request on a publicly accessible website within 14 days of making the request.
Military style training
HB 3653 also limits an officer's ability to use militant crowd control measures like tear gas and rubber bullets. Though these changes do not explicitly address the military mentality of policing, they are a step in the right direction. At a local level, Blue Courage is woven into the Chicago Police Department's training curriculum.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.
Civil asset forfeiture
Illinois has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. However, Gov. JB Pritzker (D) signed an executive order in 2019 to create an initiative designed to increase trust between communities and law enforcement. This includes reducing civil asset forfeiture.
Police arrest quotas are illegal in the State of Illinois. After passing through the Illinois General Assembly with unanimous support, then-Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 3509 on Aug. 20, 2018, eliminating an exemption in the state’s ticket quota ban that allowed Chicago to continue the practice.
Cost of misconduct
Illinois has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.
HB1438 legalized marijuana for recreational use and sale for adults in 2019. HB 3653, signed into law in February 2021, eliminates cash bail. Though this change does not adjust criminal sentences for minor offenses, it does work to decriminalize poverty. However, other minor offenses remain criminalized.
Objective justification for stops
Illinois has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).
Reporting stop details
House Bill 1613 (2019) extended a previous program that requires police to record the race of the driver, as well as other data, at traffic stops in an effort to prevent racial profiling.
Reckless civil rights violation
Illinois has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.
Pending Legislation: State Representative Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) has introduced HB 3926. This bill requires the appointment of a special prosecutor for incidents of police misconduct.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.
Mental health response
Illinois has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). But, a pilot program has been started in Rockford, IL wherein the fire department would transport patients to community center instead of the emergency room.
Pending Legislation: SB 3449 would create a dedicated mental health response service when 911 is called.
Education, Housing, Community Health Resources
It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.
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