A suburban Chicago mayor blasted a “dangerous” Illinois law set to take effect in 2023, saying it ends cash bail for kidnapping, armed robbery, and second-degree murder — among other offenses — and even bars police from removing trespassers from residences and businesses.
What are the details?
Keith Pekau, mayor of Orland Park — a village about an hour southwest of Chicago — has gone on record blasting the new Safety Accountability and Fairness Equity Today (SAFE-T) Act.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how dangerous this act is,” he said.
The mayor didn’t stop there:
First, it was passed in the middle of the night, with 40 minutes to read an 800-page bill, which is unacceptable. As of January 1, 2023, the following things will go into effect — and people need to be aware of this. It abolishes cash bail for almost every offense. This includes — but isn’t limited to — kidnapping, armed robbery, second-degree murder, drug-induced homicide, aggravated DUI, threatening a public official, and aggravated fleeing and eluding. Offenders released on electronic monitoring have to be in violation for 48 hours before law enforcement can act. They could almost drive to Alaska before we can even look for them. It denies victims their constitutional rights. And keep this in mind, businesses and homeowners: officers will no longer be able to remove trespassers from your residence or your businesses. Someone could decide to live in your shed, and all we can do is give them a ticket. You have to decide what level of force is required to remove them and whether or not it’s legal.
Pekau also called the SAFE-T Act a “massive threat” to local residents.
Standing Up to the So-Called “SAFE-T” Act
The Orland Park village board unanimously approved a resolution last week calling on state legislators to work with public safety representatives and community stakeholders to fix problems with the SAFE-T Act, WFLD-TV reported.
The station said the SAFE-T Act is “central to Republicans’ portrayal of Gov. J.B. Pritzker as soft on crime.”
However, WFLD said the governor, a Democrat, has defended the SAFE-T Act, noting in February 2021 when he signed the law that it will have the effect of “transforming the pretrial detention system so low-income people aren’t thrown behind bars while only the wealthy walk free, diverting low-level drug crimes into substance-treatment programs, and reducing excessive stays in prison.”
‘War zone full of criminals’
Pekau, in the above video, also called attention to a bill he said was in front of the state house that would “remove school resource officers from our schools, which means no resource officer at Sandburg High School. The city of Chicago’s already done this. I personally don’t want to see the city of Chicago become the standard for how we conduct public safety because they’ve abandoned their police officers and abandoned their residents and created a war zone full of criminals.”