Police reform bill changed before passage

Travis Lott
The police reform bill passed the Illinois House and Senate last week in the waning hours of the legislative session.
However, it did not pass in its original form, and many items that had caused dismay among police and prosecutors statewide were removed.
The Senate began debating the bill January 13 just after 4 a.m., and it passed with a 32-23 vote shortly before 5 a.m.
Items such as ending qualified immunity for law enforcement, which would allow police to be personally sued if they violated someone’s constitutional rights, were removed from the bill after it was strongly opposed by police, labor unions and prosecutors.
Instead, the state will create an 18-person task force to examine how departments apply qualified immunity.
Additionally, most of the measures will not take effect immediately as was originally feared.
For more, please subscribe to the Journal's online or print edition.