State Representative Mayfield Initiates Legislation to Increase Accountability Where Excessive Force Occurred

06/06/2020

Waukegan – State Representative Rita Mayfield initiated legislation designed to deter the use of excessive force by police and increase accountability where it occurs. The legislative concept involves changing how an incident is handled when excessive force was used and a death occurred. Currently, such an incident is most often handled by the State’s Attorney. Mayfield’s legislation would change the investigation and subsequent prosecution to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

Often times, a particular police force and the local State’s Attorney have a relationship. Taking an incident which involves excessive force and death to a different investigatory and prosecutorial authority would lead to a more impartial process and an outcome better accepted by the People.

The legislative concept is as follows…

When an incident occurs between a police officer or multiple police officers, and another person where an apparent excessive amount of force was used and death occurred from that use of force, the matter will be referred to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. This is in place of and instead of the States’ Attorney of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

The OAG will conduct an investigation of the incident. If the OAG determines that the use of force was excessive and comprises a criminal act, the OAG will bring appropriate charges of their determination. The OAG will prosecute the case on behalf of the People of Illinois.

The bill language is currently being drafted and a bill number will soon be assigned.

“The murder of George Floyd is deeply saddening on a multitude of levels and another in a very long procession. We will never be a civil society where black and brown people continue to be treated differently,” said Mayfield. “The vast majority of the men and women who serve our communities in law enforcement are dedicated professionals who act with dedication and compassion. They have my utmost respect. There are however some who are abusive and make it tougher for all police officers and our community. This measure is designed to increase accountability and act as a deterrent. This is a step towards bringing solid change and the justice that we all deserve together.”




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