A legislator in the Illinois General Assembly told me that moving police reform in that chamber can be problematic.
At least it has been in the past.
Maybe things have changed.
But this legislator admitted that reform has been shot down by what he called law enforcement friendly Republicans and Democrats in Springfield.
Police groups have invested heavily to make sure key lawmakers stay sympathetic. Nearly annually for decades, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has received thousands in campaign contributions from the Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Police Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
Readers know that I have been pushing for the Illinois legislature to pass as one reform removing from the scope of bargaining contract language that shields cops who engage in criminal acts from prosecution.
Organized Labor at all levels has pretty much stayed away from this proposal and still treats the Fraternal Order of Police as part of the Labor Movement.
Meanwhile there is some discussion among members of the legislatures Black Caucus.
Their ideas include:
Licensing for police officers
A ban on no-knock warrants
Special prosecutors to police misconduct cases to eliminate potential local bias
Mandatory body cameras for police statewide
More implicit bias training
”Duty to intervene” legislation
A letter sent out by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police demonstrates that they are concerned about the growing demands to defund and reform police. So, the IFOP makes it clear that they will use their influence to block any reforms, even these small ones.