Illinois Governor signs criminal justice reform bill into law; Local law enforcement disagree

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a criminal justice reform bill into law on Monday, but it comes with some controversy after concerns from local law enforcement.

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 6:38 PM
Updated: Feb 23, 2021 2:16 PM

CLARK COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a criminal justice reform bill into law on Monday, but it comes with some controversy after concerns from local law enforcement.

The law eliminates cash bail for inmates within two years. It mandates the use of police body cameras for all officers by 2025. It enhances de-escalation training for police officers, and officers can now only use deadly force when victims are in imminent danger.

News 10 spoke with Clark County, Illinois Sheriff Bill Brown on Monday afternoon to gauge his reaction to the bill being signed into law. Sheriff Brown says this law truly concerns him for the safety of Illinois citizens, and he feels it hinders police officers to do their jobs effectively.

During Governor Pritzker’s press conference on Monday afternoon, he said the bill accomplishes three criminal justice priorities for his administration. First, it transforms the pre-trial detention system. Governor Pritzker says this is so low-income individuals aren’t put in jail while the “wealthy walk free”. Next, it diverts low-level drug crimes into substance treatment programs. Last, it reduces excessive stays in prison. He says this law will make Illinois a safer place.

Sheriff Brown says he is all for accountability and for true justice. However, he feels the points in the law would make real-life scenarios hard for officers.

Both he and Governor Pritzker spoke about their opinions on the new legislation on Monday afternoon.

“This legislation marks a substantial step towards dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities, our state, and our nation,” Governor Pritzker said, “It brings us closer to true safety, true fairness, and true justice.”

It’s really going to affect the citizens and how we can do our job as compared to how we could do it in the past,” Sheriff Brown contended, “It’s a bad bill for law enforcement. It’s a bad bill for the citizens of the State of Illinois and, specifically for me, the citizens of Clark County.”

Sheriff Brown watched Governor Pritzker sign the new legislation into law on Monday. Just a week ago, he presented scenarios to the Clark County Board on how this bill will affect the safety of citizens in Illinois and affect the ability of police officers to do their jobs effectively.

For instance, Sheriff Brown used the situation of an active school shooter as an example. Police arrive at the scene, but the suspect flees. The officers catch up to the suspect, but they are no longer putting people in danger at that specific point in time. Officers now, under this new legislation, cannot use force against that suspect even though they shot at people just moments ago.

Sheriff Brown used this, among other real-life examples, to show why he and other County Sheriffs are concerned.

“I take it so personal for the safety of the citizens of this county,” Sheriff Brown explained, “If they would have just taken time and sat down with all the parties involved, we could have come up with a good bill.”

Sheriff Brown outlined what he would like to see happen moving forward although this bill was signed into law.

“What my hope is, is that there will be trailer bills that come along behind it that will clean this thing up,” Sheriff Brown concluded, “I think when the citizens of this state get information like we are sharing right now—how many people will call their legislators and say, ‘what have you done? Why have you put our kids in this kind of danger?’ You know, 120,000 people signed a petition saying, ‘hey, Governor. This is bad. This is not good.’ He doesn’t care.”

Sheriff Brown says he and his sheriff’s office will continue to serve the people of Clark County under the law with a priority in keeping citizens safe.

Terre Haute
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Robinson
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 55°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Paris
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 55°
Mattoon/Charleston
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Scattered rain and mostly cloudy
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Loogootee GBB State Finals

Image

Brycen Graber All-Time Assist Record

Image

Saturday Evening Forecast

Image

12 POINTS GROCERY STORE

Image

IL COVID-19 FIRST RESPONDER PROTECTIONS

Image

Pop up vaccine clinic

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

MARSHALL RED HILL

Image

BARR REEVE BLOOMFIELD

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1185367

Reported Deaths: 22710
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4739449351
DuPage766591194
Will64954892
Lake59408921
Kane50666716
Winnebago28319438
Madison27949454
St. Clair25391466
McHenry24290265
Champaign18079125
Peoria16880262
Sangamon16121217
McLean14581157
Tazewell13509240
Rock Island13056286
Kankakee12482189
Kendall1103785
LaSalle10786219
Macon9442185
Vermilion8557116
DeKalb8260112
Adams8003114
Williamson6794120
Whiteside5926147
Boone592171
Clinton557189
Coles519091
Grundy511363
Knox5017131
Ogle501473
Jackson460160
Effingham449269
Macoupin434779
Henry432656
Marion4262111
Livingston419876
Franklin414366
Stephenson409275
Monroe406383
Jefferson3976115
Randolph396078
Woodford367260
Morgan358676
Montgomery349268
Lee335143
Logan330753
Bureau330473
Christian330167
Fayette306452
Perry304657
Fulton285044
Iroquois277060
Jersey249346
Douglas244132
McDonough232140
Saline229747
Lawrence229624
Union218536
Shelby213734
Crawford200723
Bond190724
Cass188722
Pike168850
Clark168529
Wayne167148
Hancock167029
Warren166444
Richland163538
White160625
Jo Daviess160522
Ford158245
Washington158223
Carroll157634
Edgar154337
Moultrie149024
Clay142941
Greene137932
Johnson134712
Piatt132214
Wabash130012
Mason128241
Mercer128033
De Witt127822
Massac127133
Cumberland119218
Jasper110917
Menard10358
Marshall83815
Hamilton78815
Schuyler6775
Pulaski6705
Brown6636
Stark54022
Edwards52310
Henderson49814
Calhoun4782
Scott4491
Alexander4478
Gallatin4374
Putnam4153
Hardin34412
Pope2823
Out of IL40
Unassigned02216

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431