Democrats introduce legislation to cut down on carjackings

Democratic Senators introduced legislation targeting carjacking.
Democratic Senators introduced legislation targeting carjacking.(WGEM)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - As carjackings continue to be a growing concern in the state, Democratic Senators introduced a package of two bills they believe will help reduce carjackings statewide.

Most portions of the bills would relate to Chicago areas and the suburbs, including increasing camera surveillance around expressways.

For Sen. Kimberly Lightford, it’s a personal issue. She and her husband were the victims of a carjacking last year. Four men came up to the car she and her husband were in and pointed guns at them before getting away.

“I was terrified, and I believed that I stopped breathing. I just thought with every step I would be hit with a bullet in my back,” Lightford said. “I just knew they had killed my husband. There was a lot of shooting going on so I thought he’d just be gone.”

Her husband was unharmed.

“After having this traumatic experience I wondered how law enforcement would law enforcement would address this,” she continued.”

It would also allow police agencies statewide to better communicate and possibly be eligible for grants to help reduce carjackings. It isn’t clear why or how the grants will help reduce carjackings, but advocates argued the grants will help in giving police better resources.

“It goes back to three-pronged strategy of presence, technology, and making sure that law enforcement agencies are able to work together,“ Sen. Michael Hastings (D - Tinley Park) said.

Republican lawmakers have called previous crime packages released by Democrats as election-year gimmicks. Hastings reacted by accusing Republicans of not caring about carjackings and crime.

Another bill would focus on victims instead of perpetrators. Under this bill, sponsored by Sen. Omar Aquino (D - Chicago) those who had their car stolen would not be responsible for any tickets incurred after the vehicle was stolen. He said it was a way to keep the victims from reliving their trauma.

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