Illinois passes bill authorizing AG to partner with Illinois State Police on expressways

The Illinois General Assembly recently passed legislation permitting the Illinois Attorney General to partner with Illinois State Police in order to prosecute “dangerous crimes committed on expressways,” the AG wrote in a press release.

House Bill 260, sponsored by Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago and Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and HB 4481, sponsored by Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, and Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines, allows for the attorney general to address shootings and other violent crimes occurring on Illinois highways and expressways. 

These measures allow the office “broader authority and additional tools” in order to prosecute forcible felonies, gunrunning and firearms trafficking crimes committed on Illinois highways and expressways, the AG stated. Forcible felonies include murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, arson and kidnapping, among other offenses. 

“We stand ready to collaborate with the Illinois State Police to address gun violence and other violent crimes occurring on our highways and expressways,” Illinois AG Kwame Raoul said in a statement. “We are committed to capturing and holding accountable individuals who terrorize residents and visitors traveling Illinois roadways.

“I appreciate the Legislature’s action and look forward to continuing to use our partnerships with law enforcement agencies to combat shootings and violent crime wherever it takes place in our state,” Raoul continued. 

The AG wrote that crimes committed on highways and expressways are often difficult to investigate and prosecute due to the difficulty of locating evidence or offenders fleeing the scene of the crime. The measures passed recently aim to address those hurdles in investigations. 

The legislation increases the use of highway cameras and gives the ISP and local law enforcement the authority to use the captured footage in a “broader range of criminal investigations,” the AG stated, also allowing ISP to share its investigations with the Attorney General’s office. This will enable the AG’s office to prosecute an offender who is caught on a highway camera committing a forcible felony, gunrunning or firearms trafficking. 

“With the emerging crime of organized retail theft and spike in violence, we welcome strong action on behalf of law enforcement and public safety,” ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said in a statement. “The Illinois State Police will continue to work closely with the Illinois Attorney General and State’s Attorneys across the state to bring to justice those who break the law.” 

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April 12, 2022 at 10:15AM

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