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Freeport lawmaker files bill to increase protection for police against hate crimes

Rep. Andrew Chesney

FREEPORT (WREX) — An Illinois lawmaker has filed a bill to increase protection for police officers against hate crimes.

Rep. Andrew Chesney (R), of Freeport, filed House Bill 3715 on Monday after Illinois Governor JB Pritzker officially signed a controversial criminal justice reform bill into law.

Some of the major reforms signed by Pritzker include ending cash bail by 2023, limiting use of force by officers, and mandating body cameras by 2025.

“Governor JB Pritzker endangered all Illinois residents from Galena to Chicago to Cairo today,” Rep. Chesney said of Pritzker signing the controversial criminal justice bill.

The bill Rep. Chesney filed on Monday would enhance penalties on those who commit crimes against active or retired law enforcement officers, regardless of their motivating factor for committing the crime.

Crimes covered under Rep. Chesney’s proposed bill for enhancement to “hate crimes” include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Misdemeanor theft
  • Criminal trespass to residence
  • Misdemeanor criminal damage to property
  • Criminal trespass to vehicle
  • Criminal trespass to real property
  • Mob action
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment by telephone or harassment through electronic communications.

“We saw special legislation signed into law today to protect criminals. Now that Governor Pritzker has put a target on the back of law enforcement, we need to pass special legislation to protect those who protect law-abiding citizens,” Rep. Chesney said in a press release.

13 News will have more on the bill filed by Rep. Chesney tonight on 13 News at 6 and 10.

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