“We know the instances of police brutality that have occurred in the past several weeks were not isolated incidents, but rather a result of the centuries of systemic racism that lives within our criminal justice system,” said Hernandez. “The need for real police reform is needed now more than ever, and I will continue to educate myself on these matters, talk to members of the community, listen to their concerns and support legislation that aims to dismantle racism in all its forms.”
Hernandez recently showed support for several police reform initiatives that were introduced in the Illinois General Assembly during this past spring session, including House Bill 4999, which would make any police officer convicted of a felony deemed ineligible for receiving their pension benefits. To hold officers more accountable and create more checks and balances in police misconduct procedures, Hernandez also co-sponsored House Bill 3926, which would require a special prosecutor any time there is a death involving law enforcement in Illinois. Additionally, Hernandez supported Senate Bill 3349, which would provide that those who call emergency services experiencing mental or behavioral health distress would be connected with professionals who are appropriately trained in these types of crises.
“There is a lot of work to be done to make real, long-lasting changes that address systemic racism in our criminal justice system, but supporting legislation that holds police officers to a higher standard and creates more accountability is a necessary step in the right direction,” said Hernandez. “I am proud to support these initiatives proposed by my colleagues in the Illinois Black Caucus, and I will continue to work alongside them to find solutions and make real change.”