(GSL) – Remember this past spring when Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced her crime-busting plans to keep the city safe so residents could enjoy a “Summer of Joy” instead of just more out of control violence? As usual, it was symbolism over substance.
With 244 homicides, Murder-palooza might have been a better slogan for this past summer. Or maybe “Chicago’s Taste of Homicide Festival” where victims’ families sample delicious Emergency Room cafeteria food and tasty fare from the food trucks parked at murder scenes.
However, as bad as this summer was for Chicago, this coming January 1 will bring “The Purge” to all of Illinois. The “no cash bail” provisions in Illinois law will kick in at that time.
The “SAFE-T” Act
The Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act (Safe-T Act) eliminates the cash bail system starting January first. Hence why we refer to it as the “No Cash Bail Act.” It has all the ear-markings of a public safety disaster, too.
Reviewing the many provisions in the “Safety Act,” strangely none extend “safety” to families, residents or anyone else except accused criminals.
The Legislative Black Caucus dropped this 764-page bill in the Illinois House in the middle of the night on the last day of the lame-duck session in January 2021. They called a vote on it one hour later. It hung at 59 votes until Democrat leadership cajoled the 60th vote for passage. From there, it went to the Senate where leadership fast-tracked it for a vote minutes later before the sun came up.
In signing the bill, Illinois Democrat Governor J.B. Prizker said “…it will help dismantle ‘systemic racism,’ improve policing and make Illinois communities safer for everyone.”
If only. Among the “reforms” in the bill includes restricting use of force in arrests, and limits pursuit of suspects, makes it a felony to not wear a body cam if police agency requires it, allows the state Attorney General to levy quarter million and half million dollars civil fines against police who allegedly have a pattern of rights violations. It also makes it illegal for police to shoot someone in the back, pelvis or head with a Taser.
It allows anonymous complaints to be made against officers instead of requiring a sworn affidavit. Then it sets out how the police can no longer arrest anyone for minor misdemeanors like trespass or window peeping. Instead, assuming the police show up, cops will just give the accused a citation. At that point, the police can’t even force the suspect to leave the area.
Yes, Emergency Departments will become a total zoo after gang members come in with gunshot wounds. The next thing you know, we’ll be having shootouts between gangs in the ERs.
Cops will also face a felony if their reports contradict their own body camera footage – and they are prohibited from reviewing the footage before submitting their reports. Is it any wonder why cops are leaving departments across Illinois? There is also an elaborate plan to set up a system to track and decertify “bad cops.”
While the police have many new restrictions in the name of “safety,” what restrictions do criminals have? Pretty much none, except they’ll have to return home in less than 48 hours to avoid “escape” charges while violating electronic home monitoring.
The law lays out the rule for holding a suspect: “Detention only shall be imposed when it is determined that the defendant poses a specific, real and present threat to a person, or has a high likelihood of willful flight.” If they don’t pose a “specific, real and present threat” a specific individual, they can’t be held unless a local prosecutor convinces a judge within 48 hours otherwise. What’s more, even if bad guys don’t show up for their first court date, they still can’t be arrested or held.
The history of bail, or lack of it has never been intended to be part of punishment since everyone is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. What’s more, under the old system, those posting bail may lose their bail money if caught re-offending. That proved a motivator for many to behave upon pre-trial release. It should sting if you choose not to play along with the rules, shouldn’t it? Not under this new law in Illinois.
Crimes with mandated release
You won’t believe the crimes where the new law will mandate release for those arrested:
Second Degree Murder, Drug-induced Homicide, Arson, Aggravated Battery, Kidnapping, Burglary, Robbery, Armed Robbery, Intimidation, Aggravated DUI, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Drug Offenses, Shoplifting/Theft, Looting and effectively all misdemeanors.
As an example, if you have a domestic violence incident and beat and threaten your intimate partner, you will be held until trial. If you kill your intimate partner, technically you’re no longer a specific, real and present threat to a (living) person and the law mandates your release unless a prosecutor can convince a judge you are a specific threat to someone else.
The law also has a retroactive component applying to those previously arrested and still held on bail. Most jails will free roughly half of their inmates at midnight January 1st. Tens of thousands of criminals will go free across the state.
Offering a preview of who would be set free, the Lake County Gazette published a two-page newspaper photo spread of 32 people currently held in Lake County jail who can’t pay their very high dollar pre-trial release bonds (from $350,000 to $3,000,000) who will be turned loose on New Year’s Day.
The list of charges they are held on are staggering.
Here are charges for some of those listed on the page: Traffic accident/death and sex offender. Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of child, Aggravated Criminal Sex abuse (victim over age 5), Aggravated Sexual Abuse (victim 13-15 year of age). Agg Crim Sex Abuse (victim over 12), Agg Crim Sex abuse-with a weapon, Controlled Substance. Predatory Crim Sex Assault (victim over 13), Agg Crim Sex Abuse (victim over 13). Three repeat Domestic Battery customers (bet their families can’t wait for them to come home!), Aggravated Domestic Battery, Agg Battery/Great Bodily Harm, Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in possession of firearm (repeat offender), Agg Unlawful Use of a Weapon against a person (repeat offender). Methamphetamine possession, Theft/Stolen, Driving on Suspended License. Agg Discharge of Firearm-occupied vehicle, Agg Unlawful Use of a Weapon-vehicle and under 21 yrs old, Agg Unlawful Use of a Weapon-no concealed carry or FOID and Reckless Discharge of a Firearm/Endangering Others.
There are 101 other counties who will be releasing similar accused bad guys and gals on New Year’s Day. As the headline says, “The Purge” begins at 12:01am January 1st. The Democrats that passed this bill and signed it into law have signaled their criminal coddling over protecting your friends and family. You’re on your own. Are you ready?
Are you ready?
Do you maintain situational awareness while out in public? Do you trust your intuition? You should. Dismiss your intuition as “it’s nothing” at your own peril. It always has your best interests at heart and is usually right.
Do you own a gun to defend your family within the home? It’s not too late to apply for a Firearms Owners ID card and go shopping. Take a class while you’re at it. Don’t be this guy:
AND I’M ON HOLD
SURE WISH I HAD
THAT GUN I SOLD
Do you have a concealed carry license? You have about three months to remedy that if you do not. You don’t have to be a defenseless victim in public. Get armed. Get training. Get licensed. Carry every day.
Do you have a self-defense insurance policy to pay for legal representation should you be forced to punch the ticket of one of these predatory criminals threatening your life?
Do you have good locks and good lighting around your home?
The bad guys will feel emboldened after January 1st. Will you be a hard target or an easy mark? It’s your choice. But with decisions come consequences.