Comprehensive Law Enforcement Reform

Senate Bill 1304 (Raoul/Sims)

SB 1304 is a comprehensive law enforcement reform package negotiated with community groups, law enforcement, states’ attorneys and the Office of the Attorney General. It is designed to improve police-community relations and address racial disparities in encounters between law enforcement and the public.

Its provisions include the following:

  1. Establishes minimum polices and standards for the use of body cameras by law enforcement agencies in Illinois
    1. Cameras must be turned on at all times when an officer is responding to a call for service or engaged in law enforcement activities
    2. Can be turned off at the request of a crime victim or witness, or when an officer is talking with a confidential informant
    3. Contains standards on the retention of recordings and who may view them
    4. Recordings are exempt from FOIA with some exceptions
      1. Recordings can be “flagged” if they have evidentiary value in relation to a use of force incident, the discharge of a weapon or a death
      2. “Flagged” recordings may be disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act; however, in certain sensitive situations, such as a recording of a sexual assault, victim consent is required prior to disclosure
    5. The legislation is not a mandate; it does not require any law enforcement agency to purchase or use body cameras
    6. Creates a funding stream for competitive grants to law enforcement agencies for the purchase of body cameras by increasing traffic tickets by $5
  2. Requires an independent investigation of all officer-involved deaths; if the officer is not charged with a crime, the report of the independent investigators must be made public
  3. Prohibits the use of chokeholds
  4. Expands mandatory law enforcement officer training to include cultural competency, implicit bias, the proper use of force and dealing with sexual assault victims and persons with disabilities
  5. Expands the Traffic Stop Statistical Study, initiated to research racial disparities in traffic stops, to stops and searches of pedestrians
  6. Creates a database of officers who have been dismissed due to misconduct or resigned during a misconduct investigation, so another agency does not hire these officers without knowledge of their work histories
  7. Improves crime reporting requirements and the mandatory reporting of officer-involved and arrest-related deaths
  8. Creates a Commission on Police Professionalism to draft a report and legislative recommendations on the training and certification process for law enforcement officers with the aim of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in police conduct in Illinois

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