At the end of the legislative session, the Illinois State House and Senate passed two dangerous bills, which would undermine the safety and liberation of Black community members across the state.
This legislation represents the latest attempt by Mayor Emanuel to amass political leverage by promoting anti-Black “law-and-order” legislation. Released by the mayor’s office as so-called “public safety” measures, these bills would fail in their proported attempt to promote the security and well-being of local residents. Rather, HB 1804 and SB 2562 would further escalate the racially targeted mass incarceration of Illinois children and enhance the ability of law enforcement to target and suppress racial justice advocates.
With your help, we can stop these bills.
HB 1804 would offer Iocal law enforcement overly expansive powers to apprehend and prosecute Illinois residents for non-criminal activities. This bill designates the mere act of possessing or being a passenger in a stolen vehicle as a Class 2 felony, punishable for up to 7 years in prison, even if the accused was unaware that the vehicle had been unlawfully seized. In such cases, HB 1804 would grant juvenile court judges broad authority to hold presumptively innocent child defendants in pretrial detention as they await their court date. The adverse implications of HB 1804 would disproportionately affect Black children, who are targeted by Illinois’ juvenile justice system at a rate of six times that of white youths.
SB 2562 would allow police officers to use drones equipped with facial recognition technology to spy on political activists at large scale public demonstrations. Increased surveillance capabilities of law enforcement would violate residents’ civil liberties and intimidate marginalized activists from exercising their first amendment rights. SB 2562 would perpetuate the Chicago Police Department's long history of abusing surveillance authority as a means to suppress Black activists.
We are calling upon you to join WCRJ in resisting these toxic bills.
Contact Governor Rauner (217-782-0244) ASAP and demand that he veto HB 1804 and SB 2562.