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Illinois Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Applaud Gov. Pritzker for Signing Police Accountability Legislation

February 23, 2021

The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded Illinois Governor JB Pritzker for signing House Bill 3653, legislation to increase police accountability and transparency, into law. 

“With this legislation our leaders are taking a critical step toward acknowledging, addressing, and acting on the systemic racism and underinvestment that has led to disproportionate rates of police and gun violence in our most vulnerable communities. We applaud our lawmakers and the governor for including funding for victims of gun violence and survivor families for much needed services,” said Maria Pike, a volunteer with Illinois Moms Demand Action and a Senior Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. “From the bottom of our hearts, we thank the many longtime advocates who have been tirelessly fighting for the change our communities deserve for decades.”

The bill becomes law after several high profile shootings by police across the country and in Illinois, including a shooting by police that left one Waukegan teenageer dead, and wounded a woman. The legislation would provide for increased oversight of state and local police by Attorney General Kwame Raoul, demilitarization of state and local police, new use-of-force and de-escalation training, the establishment of a clear law enforcement duty to intervene, and restrictions on law enforcement use of chokeholds. 

Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found adoption of use-of-force reform policies—including restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles—was associated with fewer people killed by police. Other policies included in the study included exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, duty to intervene and warning before shooting. 

Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who break the law are held accountable. Use of force policies like these help advance safety. 

Black people in the United States are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. According to Mapping Police Violence, 156 people were shot and killed by police in Illinois between 2013 and 2019, and more than half of people killed were Black.

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