Originally Posted on January 13, 2021
Sorry it took longer than expected to get this out. We were being careful to not give out bad information. Here is a brief summary of what our “ lawmakers” passed in the dead of the night.
The 764-page amendment the State Senate passed at approximately 4 a.m. today on law enforcement and criminal justice legislation during the Lame Duck Session is truly appalling.
President Catanzara will deliver a more in depth analysis on its content this Friday, January 15, on the Friday night YouTube post. The link will be posted on the website and FaceBook page. For now, a few major highlights:
• Initially, some good news. The Bill does not alter the City’s obligation to bargain with Lodge 7 on mandatory subjects of bargaining (earlier versions would have gutted most of the contract provisions currently in our CBA from bargaining, including discipline). The Bill does not remove Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement Officers, although it does create a “Task Force on Constitutional Rights and Remedies Act,” which is empowered “to develop and propose policies and procedures to review and reform constitutional rights and remedies, including qualified immunity for peace officers.”
• For the bad news (of which there is much). All public records and nonpublic records related to complaints, investigations, and adjudications of police misconduct shall be permanently retained and may not be destroyed.
• During an administrative proceeding, an officer will not be informed beforehand of the names of all complainants, but will only be informed in writing of the basis of charge and the name of the investigator.
• Affidavit requirement has been removed.
• Anonymous Complains will now all be accepted and processed.
• The Use of Force definitions have been changed, in some cases making it more restrictive
• Statewide minimum standards will be established regarding regular mental health screenings for all police officers.
• Additional mandatory training will be required, every 3 years, on such topics as use of force, de-escalation, implicit bias, stops, searches and other constitutional protections.
• Officers who commit certain types of misconduct, such as failing to comply with Department policy on use of body worn cameras; misrepresent or fail to provide facts in a formal report or investigation; or withhold knowledge of any misinformation of another Officer, will now be charged with a Class 3 felony.
• The newly created Illinois Law Enforcement Certification Review Panel will have significant authority to license and revoke Officers’ licenses, in a lengthy, bureaucratic certification/decertification process.