From the Lake County State’s Attorney:
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart Supports Final Reform Bill
(Lake County, IL) Today, the Illinois legislature passed a sweeping reform bill that, among other things, mandated body-worn cameras for all Illinois officers, required records of police misconduct to be preserved, and introduced a statewide bail system that ends the use of money and instead allows judges to better protect the community by holding those posing a risk to others without respect to a person’s wealth.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart worked with Lake County legislators and policy advocates to improve upon the original bill that was introduced on January 6, 2021.
A few of the many critical reforms in the final version of the bill:
- Mandates that all police officers wear body cameras while taking into account the size of departments.
- Ends the use of “cash bail” and allows judges to focus solely on someone’s “threat to community” as opposed to guessing about a defendant’s access to money.
- Creates a mandatory duty for law enforcement officers to render aid in cases where other officers engage in misconduct.
- Creates accountability for officers who knowingly lie in police reports.
State’s Attorney Rinehart said:
“The criminal justice reform bill that was passed today in Springfield will make all communities in Lake County safer.
“I am proud to say I support the bill, and that I was able to suggest improvements to the original version of the bill.
“These common sense reforms will prevent tragedies like the case of Cassandra Tanner-Miller in which her abuser posted $5,000.00 and then killed their 18-month-old child.
“It will prevent the gross disparity we see between holding a non-violent offender on a small bail while Kyle Rittenhouse is released in Wisconsin because supporters posted millions.
“In the coming weeks, I look forward to hosting community forums about other parts of the bill that were rejected, such as modifying qualified immunity protections for police departments.”
In addition, Rinehart said:
“With respect to our partners in law enforcement, body-cameras need to be funded, but they protect officers and civilians alike.
“As for the few officers who engage in misconduct, this bill gives all of us necessary and needed tools to discover the misconduct and deal with it in a transparent way that will restore the link between the community and our justice system.”
The bill also:
- Prevents destruction of law enforcement misconduct records.
- Connects substance abuse treatment programs with First Responder duties.
- Increases and improves de-escalation and mental health training for law enforcement.
- Expands qualifying offenses for and access to police misconduct database.
- Requires police to develop a plan to protect children during search warrant raids.
- Empowers the Attorney General to investigate deaths occurring in police custody.
- Bans use of chokeholds and other extreme measures.
- Establishes statewide use of force standards by 2022.