MCLEAN COUNTY (WEEK) - McLean County board member and Chair of the Justice Committee Chuck Erickson pulled a resolution from the agenda during Tuesday's meeting. The resolution was to recognize the board's support of McLean County law enforcement and support for upholding qualified immunity in Illinois.
Around 20 concerned citizens either spoke during public comment or submitted a written response to the resolution. All but two of those comments were not in favor of the resolution.
Qualified immunity in Illinois ensures that law enforcement cannot be financially responsible in civil court for crimes they may commit while on duty.
Comprehensive criminal justice reform signed into law last month by Gov. JB Pritzker is prompting a call for the McLean County Board to demonstrate its support for area police.
The Not In Our Town organization, the local NAACP, and YWCA of McLean County released a statement late Monday urging board members reject the measure.
The sweeping reform bill signed by the governor continues to protect officers from lawsuits, but Erickson said a statement from the county board would "go a long way toward supporting the Sheriff's department and raising the morale of the department."
In a news release, Not In Our Town, NAACP, and YWCA said the resolution, if approved, "displays intransigence and an inability to work with the community to fashion appropriate responses."
The organizations went on to say that "Law enforcement officers deserve support and endorsement but supporting antiquated and discriminatory practices is not how that support and positive relationships are built."
The board's executive committee and full county board would also have to sign off on the resolution for the resolution to gain final approval.