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After a Year of Record Crime, Illinois Democrats Still Defending Disastrous Criminal Justice “Reforms”

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

crime

In January of 2021, the Democrat-controlled state legislature of Illinois passed one of the most radical pieces of criminal justice “reform” legislation anywhere in the country. The bill, which was straight out of the “Defund the Police” handbook, paved the way for a massive spike in murders, carjackings, and robberies, particularly in Chicago and the surrounding areas. But now, with the end of the legislative session quickly approaching, Illinois Democrats are dragging their feet about doing anything to address rampant crime – and may even be looking to double down on their failed policies.

Following the 2020 death of George Floyd and the riots which followed, progressives in Illinois aggressively pushed for new criminal justice legislation to address what they referred to as “disparities” in policing. The result of that effort was the passage of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act. Democrats and activists celebrated the bill as “big, bold, complex, and transformational.”

Among other things, the bill changed a rule that allowed prosecutors to charge felons with murder if their felony act led to the death of another person; contained a provision that would end all cash bail by 2023; and aggressively constrained who could be held in pretrial detention.

The pretrial detention provision is particularly notable for how radical of a change it represents from the previous system. Under the new requirements, only those charged with a handful of the worst felonies can be detained before their trial, and only when there is a “specific physical threat to someone.” Proponents of the bill celebrated that it had the potential not to actually reduce crime, but rather reduce the number of criminals who are incarcerated, thereby artificially shrinking the state’s prison population.

Republicans criticized the law for being passed “without having any public or Republican involvement in those discussions.” Much of the bill wasn’t made available to the public until it had already been signed, enraging law enforcement advocates and victims of violent crime.

Republicans, community leaders, and police also criticized the bill for several alarming restrictions it now placed on law enforcement. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association pointed out that, under the new law, police cannot remove unwanted strangers from a person’s outdoor property, prevent bystanders from walking through active crime scenes, forcibly remove suspects screaming obscenities in commercial establishments, or, most unsettlingly, use force against an active shooter once he or she flees the scene.

Following Illinois Governor J.B. Prtizker’s signing of the bill into law, Chicago saw its deadliest year in a quarter of a century. There were more homicides in the Windy City than in any other American city and a statewide rise in murders, carjackings, and thefts.

A few specific cases from the past year capture just how devastating the bill has been to law and order in the state. Last month, a man engaged in a gun battle with another induvial that left an innocent bystander dead. Later that same week, another man initiated a gun battle at a birthday party that left another innocent bystander dead. Typically, both of these individuals would be facing first-degree murder charges. As a result of the SAFE-T Act, however, no murder charges will be filed. Instead, both men will only face charges related to the illegal discharge of a weapon.

The law is also having a tremendously negative effect on law enforcement. This month, a Clark County police department was entirely shuttered, disbanded, and dissolved. A spokesman for the department blamed the closure on “unfunded mandates passed by the state.” He was referring to the slew of new regulations imposed by the SAFE-T Act – none of which were actually funded by the bill. This has become a favorite tactic of Defund the Police activists, who can gut police departments without having to deal with the bad optics of actually reducing police funding by simply imposing onerous regulations on law enforcement that departments have no way of meeting. There has also been a sharp uptick in police officers leaving the state, retiring from the force, or outright quitting, some specifically citing the law as their reason for doing so.

Amid the rampant lawlessness, severe public backlash has caused Democrats in the state legislature to backtrack on some of the most egregious provisions of the legislation, but Republicans and law enforcement groups argue that a so-called “trailer bill” did not go far enough to address their concerns. Even after reforms to the SAFE-T Act, people arrested for crimes like burglary, robbery without a weapon, and aggravated DUI that leads to a death must be released pending trial.

Nonetheless, Illinois Democrats have continued to bar Republicans from even participating in discussion over more legislation to address the issue, leading to fears from some GOP officials that another similarly radical piece of legislation could be on the way. While Democrats continue to insist they will do something to address crime, legislation has yet to materialize.

That leaves Illinois residents in an unenviable position. With Democrats enjoying large majorities in the state legislature and control of nearly every major elected office in the state, the disciples of Defund the Police who penned this legislation may be in power for some time. However, Republicans can still work to chip away at Democrats’ stranglehold on the state by communicating the disastrous consequences of liberal policies. Under the right conditions, voters may finally decide they’ve had enough.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.      

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jocko
jocko
11 months ago

libs = CANCER AND ARE THE ENEMY OFOUR NATION; fbi AND doj, TOO

jocko
jocko
11 months ago

DEPORT ALL liberals 2 THE NEW AUSCHWITZ FOR ROAS…….

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

As long as the majority of voters continue to consistently pull the lever for Democrats in Chicago, over and over and over again election after election, the city will continue its downward path towards eventual anarchy. The people of Chicago have no one to blame but themselves. Sorry to be so harsh and direct, but the majority of voters are directly responsible for the mess they have created in their city. None of the far-left Democrat politicians that enacted anti-law enforcement laws just dropped out of the sky one day and became Mayor, City Council members, etc. The majority of voters put them in their positions to create such societal chaos. The same holds true for other out of control, high crime rate cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Must be the Indoc & Education right

Bill on the Hill
Bill on the Hill
2 years ago

To think Chicago Mayor Lightfoot has a ( 70 ) man security team protecting her 24/7…DEFUND THE POLICE & Chicago is that shining example of the consequence of never ending Democrat Party rule in the most crooked, violent & reprehensible city in the nation…
I can only assume the good people of Chicago love their environment because they continue to vote these Democrat sleaze balls back into office, year after year…
Bill… :~)

Owen Shrock
Owen Shrock
2 years ago

I’m not going to comment on this article…What I am going to say is that we’re being set up, and it seems like the entire US Government is in on it. I watched this morning on the news where Comrade Joey, or as I’ve started referring to him, Biffie, has released over 83 million barrels of oil from our national strategic reserve to ease the burden of high gasoline prices. The story went on to say that Biffie has ordered an additional one million barrels of oil to be released each and every month unil gas prices subside.

I also read online last night that the US Navy is planning on scrapping twenty four of it’s ships so they can meet Congressional budget requirements. This includes five Missile Cruisers, all eight of it’s newest Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships, the newest one being only two years old. The Navy said the reason their going to scrap the Littoral Combat Ships is because the transmissions were not syncing up with the engines…REALLY? Then the contractors should be held accountable and required to fix the problem or return the money they’ve taken from the American taxpayers! 

I also read where in the past six months the US Air Force has lost in crashes over a dozen fighter aircraft, this includes four F22 Raptors, three F35’s, and host of F15’s and F16’s most, if not all due to maintenance issues of some sort or another. What gives, is the Air Force not training it’s personal anymore?

I read several months ago where the US Marine Corp had gotten rid of all it’s Tank Battalions’ and two of it’s Infantry Battalion’s, along with several of its Air Wings. All in an effort to make the Marine Corp a leaner and more lethal fighting force…Wow! I’m not a military expert, but I would think that downsizing and completely getting rid of all you’re Tanks would not make you a more lethal fighting force, especially when you should be preparing for an adversary such as China.

So let’s do a recap, Biffie has ordered millions of barrels of oil released from the National Strategic Reserve, instead of pumping more of our own oil. The Navy is scrapping twenty four ships, including eight of it’s newest ones, instead of building more and preparing for a conflict with China. The Air Force has dozens of planes literally falling out of the sky, and the Marine Corp is downsizing and becoming LESS lethal. Either I’m completely paranoid or a huge wack-a-doodle, or there’s something to it all. With the Biffie administration doing everything in its power to destroy our Constitution and our way of life, I would say it’s a safe bet that America is being sold down the drain.

How much longer can we continue down this road before we fall? The American people need to wake up before it’s too late!

God help the USA

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
2 years ago

The Socialist Liberal Left are too stubborn and stupid not to see the truth. Pray for sanity.

Nobody’s Business
Nobody’s Business
2 years ago

The way to stop crime is to beat the crap out of prosecuting attorneys that let criminals go and then go after good people defending their selves and families. If prosecutors were afraid for their own lives things would change immediately. It’s terrible that it has come to this but it is time to beat some common sense back into people.

Joe M
Joe M
2 years ago

There is NOTHING more STUPID, IGNORANT and GODLESS as the democrat party and anyone who follows it !! They are the party of Satan !!!!

mikem
mikem
2 years ago

the democratic boob’s as they are mostly reside in the cities, the people of deep southern illinois still have law and order, of course we are all red down here and if it wasn’t for chicago and the suburbs this state would be red, of course the people in the cities are clueless.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 years ago

Defund all these black Mayurs. Kyle L.

Grammy
Grammy
2 years ago

I think Lightfoot’s goal here is for all the bad gang members to kill each other off, thus eliminating her problem. She doesn’t seem smart enough to find another way to clean Chicago. Only problem is, innocent people will die in the process. Does she care? No. Just part of the process.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

As long as the majority of voters continue to consistently pull the lever for Democrats in Chicago, over and over and over again election after election, the city will continue its downward path towards eventual anarchy. The people of Chicago have no one to blame but themselves. Sorry to be so harsh and direct, but the majority of voters are directly responsible for the mess they have created in their city. None of the far-left Democrat politicians that enacted anti-law enforcement laws just dropped out of the sky one day and became Mayor, City Council members, etc. The majority of voters put them in their positions to create such societal chaos. The same holds true for other out of control, high crime rate cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Must be the Indoc & Education right

Bill on the Hill
Bill on the Hill
2 years ago

To think Chicago Mayor Lightfoot has a ( 70 ) man security team protecting her 24/7…DEFUND THE POLICE & Chicago is that shining example of the consequence of never ending Democrat Party rule in the most crooked, violent & reprehensible city in the nation…
I can only assume the good people of Chicago love their environment because they continue to vote these Democrat sleaze balls back into office, year after year…
Bill… :~)

Owen Shrock
Owen Shrock
2 years ago

I’m not going to comment on this article…What I am going to say is that we’re being set up, and it seems like the entire US Government is in on it. I watched this morning on the news where Comrade Joey, or as I’ve started referring to him, Biffie, has released over 83 million barrels of oil from our national strategic reserve to ease the burden of high gasoline prices. The story went on to say that Biffie has ordered an additional one million barrels of oil to be released each and every month unil gas prices subside.

I also read online last night that the US Navy is planning on scrapping twenty four of it’s ships so they can meet Congressional budget requirements. This includes five Missile Cruisers, all eight of it’s newest Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships, the newest one being only two years old. The Navy said the reason their going to scrap the Littoral Combat Ships is because the transmissions were not syncing up with the engines…REALLY? Then the contractors should be held accountable and required to fix the problem or return the money they’ve taken from the American taxpayers! 

I also read where in the past six months the US Air Force has lost in crashes over a dozen fighter aircraft, this includes four F22 Raptors, three F35’s, and host of F15’s and F16’s most, if not all due to maintenance issues of some sort or another. What gives, is the Air Force not training it’s personal anymore?

I read several months ago where the US Marine Corp had gotten rid of all it’s Tank Battalions’ and two of it’s Infantry Battalion’s, along with several of its Air Wings. All in an effort to make the Marine Corp a leaner and more lethal fighting force…Wow! I’m not a military expert, but I would think that downsizing and completely getting rid of all you’re Tanks would not make you a more lethal fighting force, especially when you should be preparing for an adversary such as China.

So let’s do a recap, Biffie has ordered millions of barrels of oil released from the National Strategic Reserve, instead of pumping more of our own oil. The Navy is scrapping twenty four ships, including eight of it’s newest ones, instead of building more and preparing for a conflict with China. The Air Force has dozens of planes literally falling out of the sky, and the Marine Corp is downsizing and becoming LESS lethal. Either I’m completely paranoid or a huge wack-a-doodle, or there’s something to it all. With the Biffie administration doing everything in its power to destroy our Constitution and our way of life, I would say it’s a safe bet that America is being sold down the drain.

How much longer can we continue down this road before we fall? The American people need to wake up before it’s too late!

God help the USA

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
2 years ago

The Socialist Liberal Left are too stubborn and stupid not to see the truth. Pray for sanity.

Nobody’s Business
Nobody’s Business
2 years ago

The way to stop crime is to beat the crap out of prosecuting attorneys that let criminals go and then go after good people defending their selves and families. If prosecutors were afraid for their own lives things would change immediately. It’s terrible that it has come to this but it is time to beat some common sense back into people.

Joe M
Joe M
2 years ago

There is NOTHING more STUPID, IGNORANT and GODLESS as the democrat party and anyone who follows it !! They are the party of Satan !!!!

mikem
mikem
2 years ago

the democratic boob’s as they are mostly reside in the cities, the people of deep southern illinois still have law and order, of course we are all red down here and if it wasn’t for chicago and the suburbs this state would be red, of course the people in the cities are clueless.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 years ago

Defund all these black Mayurs. Kyle L.

Grammy
Grammy
2 years ago

I think Lightfoot’s goal here is for all the bad gang members to kill each other off, thus eliminating her problem. She doesn’t seem smart enough to find another way to clean Chicago. Only problem is, innocent people will die in the process. Does she care? No. Just part of the process.

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