SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Leading an effort to hold rouge police officers who use excessive force accountable, state Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation requiring grand jury hearings on these cases be made open to the public.
“Restoring trust between police and our communities will require transparent and open investigations into all incidents of excessive force and police-involved shootings,” said Lilly. “Officers have stressful and important jobs, and the vast majority do those jobs admirably and honorably. These good officers and our community members alike deserve to know that bad actors and not being shielded by a broken system. We are all partners in justice.”
Lilly’s House Bill 172 states that when peace officers are charged with use of excessive force or firing their weapon resulting in someone’s death or injury, the proceedings of these cases should be made open to the public. Currently, these hearings are closed off, allowing only an authorized few, like the state’s attorney and grand jurors, to be present during them. In a time when the relationship between law enforcement and the public needs to be built on openness and mutual trust, Lilly’s proposal is taking a necessary step to rebuilding that trust.
“Everyone needs to be held to a higher standard and held accountable for their actions, but this is especially true for people in the public eye,” said Lilly. “We are trusting that these peace officers can prevent hostile situations from happening and uphold the law at all times.”
Lilly represents Chicago’s West Side, Oak Park, River Grove, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park and Melrose Park. Join her weekly newsletter to stay up to date with events and news from the 78th District.
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