This is one of those things that I thought HAD to be fake news. I first heard of it through a facebook group I belong to and my comment was “Please someone tell me that this is not real!” It was so outrageous that I literally couldn’t believe it but sadly I checked the Illinois legislative website and you can read about House Bill 0186 introduced by none other than Representative La Shawn K. Ford who is also a candidate for Chicago Mayor.
If you want to read it for yourself you can simply click below:
Basically this bill takes away an officer’s ability to temporarily detain and question a person who the officer infers based on circumstances has committed, is about to commit, or is committing a crime.
In other words, if the police officer gets a call about a burglary in progress at a particular location and arrives at that location and sees a person hanging around that location that matches the description of the person in the call the officer SHALL not detain or question that person without making an arrest. In other words, it sets up the officer for false arrest because just because you match the description and you happen to be at the location it doesn’t rise to probable cause to make an arrest. What the officer would normally do is stop the person, find out who they are and if they have a legitimate reason to be there. Maybe it is the owner who heard someone rummaging around their home or business and decided to check it out themselves. Unless you stop and question them temporarily there is no way for you to know.
Under the new proposed change to the law the officer would have to monitor the individual until they have enough probable cause and then as to not violate the new statute, take the information to a judge who can then sign an arrest warrant for the unknown individual and then the officer can go back and make the arrest tomorrow if the same offender is there and he can positively identify that unknown person.
Or, the officer can then simply rush the individual and place him under arrest with no temporary detention or questioning and then if it ends up being the owner he will be liable for false arrest and probably will be sued civilly.
You have to read the statute to really understand the craziness of the bill. First of all, in the second paragraph, the bill removes temporary questioning completely. It is no longer an allowable procedure available to any officer in the state of Illinois.
Then in the third paragraph is states:
“prohibited. A peace officer shall not stop any person in a public place based upon an officer’s inference from the circumstances that the person is committing, is about to commit, or has committed an offense as defined in Section 102-15 of this Code.”
Not only can the officer not take action if he or she infers that an offense is about to be committed or that an offense has been committed in the past but even if the officer believes the offense is being committed RIGHT NOW!
That should scare the daylights out of any law-abiding citizen and embolden anyone who is contemplating breaking the law.
The bill completely removes the first stage of any investigation, a police officer trying to figure out if a crime is actually taking place.
It will serve two purposes, increase the number of lawsuits against police officers thereby making them ineffective through intimidation and it will also change them into armed witnesses who will take notes and pictures and worry about the arrest later after a judge signs a document to protect them against those civil lawsuits.
Every sane person in this state should be writing to their representative, senator and the governor himself to make sure that this bill is exposed for what it is, ridiculous.
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