Illinois Mayor Slams New State Law That Eliminates Cash Bail – ‘Massive Threat’

by J Pelkey
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Breaking Digest reported earlier that a new Illinois state law, the SAFE-T Act, will release those charged with second-degree murder, aggravated battery, arson without bail, drug-induced homicide, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, intimidation, aggravated DUI, aggravated fleeing and eluding, drug offenses, and threatening a public official.

A suburban Chicago mayor slammed the “dangerous” new law, set to take effect in 2023, arguing that it ends cash bail for kidnapping, armed robbery, and second-degree murder, among other serious offenses.

Orland Park Mayor, Keith Pekau, warned how dangerous the law would be, arguing that communities will be left more vulnerable, and victims of crimes will lose their Constitutional rights.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how dangerous this act is,” Mayor Pekau said Tuesday at a town meeting.

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He continued, “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.”

“This is a massive threat to the residents of Orland Park, Cook County and Illinois”, he said.


From Fox News:

An Illinois mayor sounded the alarm on “how dangerous” a state law that eliminates cash bail will be, arguing communities will be left more vulnerable and victims of crimes will lose “their constitutional rights.”

“We must not allow this law to stand as passed,” Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said Tuesday at a town meeting. “I can’t even begin to tell you how dangerous this act is.” 

The Orland Village Board unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday demanding state legislators work with public safety representatives to address problems they see with the Safety Accountability and Fairness Equity Today Act (Safe-T Act). The village is mostly located in Cook County, the most populated county in the state.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law last year, provisions such as eliminating cash bail will take effect on Jan. 1 of 2023. The law makes Illinois the first state in the country to eliminate cash bail.

The Safe-T Act will also restrict who can be arrested, increase eligibility for probation for people convicted of some drug crimes, among other changes to policing and police training. Supporters of the law say it will make the criminal justice system more fair for Black, Latino and minority communities.

The legislation has been criticized by politicians and law enforcement officials across the state, with Pekau going over in the town meeting the different ways the community will reportedly suffer if the law is implemented as is. 

“Someone could decide to live in your shed, and all we could do is give them a ticket,” said Pekau, who is currently running for Congress. “This is a massive threat to residents of Orland Park, Cook County and Illinois.”

A press release from Orland Park Village states that abolishing cash bail will affect “almost every offense,” including “kidnapping, armed robbery, second degree murder, drug induced homicide, aggravated DUI, threatening a public official and aggravated fleeing and eluding.” Town leadership also argued that victims of crimes will be denied “their constitutional rights,” denounced how offenders released on electronic monitoring devices will need to be in violation of their parole for 48 hours before police can act, and police will no longer be able to remove trespassers from a residence or business. 

“It’s like they won’t stop until they destroy our communities and our society,” Pekau said at the meeting. “We all need to take a stand against this, this is a very dangerous bill.”

Pekau also sent a letter to the governor informing him of Orland Park’s unanimously adopted resolution and doubling-down on his criticisms of the legislation.

The letter, which was sent on Friday, has gone unanswered, Pekau told Fox News Digital on Monday. 

Orland Park leaders are far from alone in decrying the law.

Former state attorney and current state Rep. Patrick Windhorst said this month that the elimination of cash bail “will reduce public safety and lead to more crime in Illinois.” Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley wrote a recent op-ed outlining that “400 criminal defendants will be released back into our community” due to the law. And Johnson County Sheriff Peter Sopczak warned that “the gates are open” and criminals and suspects are “going to be let out onto the streets.”

In the video above, Pekau also called attention to another bill that 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.”

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