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Raoul pushes for stronger review of officer-involved shootings

raoul 042718SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation yesterday to ensure all officer-involved shootings are properly investigated.

Senate Bill 2378 requires every law enforcement agency in the state to develop a written policy for the internal review of officer-involved shootings that would be available by request under the Freedom of Information Act.

This legislation comes after a report from the Better Government Association which found that suburban police departments were neglecting to take administrative action after officers were involved in shootings.

“I have spent years working to improve relations between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” Raoul said. “Establishing trust is an essential part of that effort, and that is impossible to do if police aren’t held accountable for their actions.”

An officer-involved death is a death of an individual directly resulting from the action or intentional negligence of a law enforcement officer on the job.

Raoul previously passed a comprehensive package of legislation that focused on law enforcement reform and improving community relations.

That measure, which was signed into law in 2015, requires law enforcement agencies to have an independent agency conduct investigations into officer-involved deaths. The legislation passed this week codifies that requirement to promote greater accountability.

Senate Bill 2378 passed unanimously and heads to the House for consideration.

Raoul secures stronger protections for sexual assault survivors

raoul 031518SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed two pieces of legislation this week that provide additional protections and rights for survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

Senate Bill 3404 creates the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, filling in gaps in Illinois’ current laws and bringing the state in line with federal guidelines.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to provide resources for those who have suffered trauma related to sexual assault,” Raoul said. “We need survivors to know that their basic civil rights will be protected when they report this crime.”

Raoul measure lets municipalities regulate assault weapons

raoul 031518Measure passed today also bans the sale and use of bump stocks

SPRINGFIELD —  One month after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 students and teachers, State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation in the Senate allowing municipalities to regulate assault weapons and banning the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks.

Currently, the authority to regulate assault weapons rests exclusively with the state, but this legislation returns that power to local governments.

The measure also makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump stocks and trigger cranks.

“Students around the country walked out today to remember the victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and urge lawmakers to take action,” Raoul said. “I was proud to join my colleagues in a bipartisan show of support for them. But we are in a unique situation. We can do more than host a symbolic demonstration. We can take action, and I am proud that we did today.”

Today’s vote coincided with a national school walk out, during which thousands of students peacefully protested gun violence and urged legislators to take action. Raoul joined members of the Illinois Senate this morning in a 20-minute walk out in solidarity with the students.

House Bill 1467 passed the Senate 37-16 and now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.

Raoul: Governor’s veto of gun dealer licensing unconscionable

raoul 030118 2SPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“It’s unconscionable for the governor to take this action when gun violence continues to plague communities across our state.

“This is a personal issue for me. I have experienced gun violence just outside my front door on multiple occasions while my children were home, and I have close friends who lost children to gun violence within blocks of my home.

Sen. Kwame Raoul

Senator Kwame Raoul

13th District

Years served: 2004 - Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Committee on Restorative Justice (Co-Chairperson).

Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; has two children.