Illinois continues to take a strong stance against police brutality and misconduct by passing more laws and policies aimed at making police procedures more transparent.
As we mentioned in an earlier blog, Governor Rauner already did away with the controversial chokehold maneuver, and it’s clear that his goal is to improve the public’s perception of police. The new law involves a variety of measures, which include:
- Requiring independent detectives to investigate officer-involved and in-custody deaths.
- All officers must issue a receipt with their name and badge number on it to a person after a stop, frisk or search.
- The creation of a professional-conduct database to track officers who are fired or who resign because of misconduct or illegal activity.
“We can never change some folks’ view of law enforcement, but I think this is a step in the right direction and it will hopefully protect our officers,” said Rep. John Cabello said, R-Machesney Park, who co-sponsored the bill. “This is hopefully one step, the first step, in trying to make sure our citizens are safer and our police officers are safer.”
As we saw in today’s NFL ruling, it’s never good when the side in power gets to oversee their own investigation, and that’s what Illinois wants to change with this new measure. By having high-profile cases reviewed by an independent party, government leaders are hoping to add transparency and credibility to investigations.
“You don’t want to give the appearance that the investigation is not credible and that is why everyone has signed on,” said Marilyn Hite Ross, chief criminal prosecutor for the Winnebago County state’s attorney. “It is a really good model to use.”
Lastly, Rauner and colleagues believe the issuance of encounter tickets will help eliminate racial bias and personalize the interaction.
“By mandating that officers submit receipts for certain individuals who are stopped is a way to track that,” Hite Ross said. “A lot of times people are nervous when they are stopped and they don’t think to ask for the officer’s name. This is a way to make the encounter more friendly between the officer and the person who has been stopped.”