Lightford should repeal HB3653 which advocates for criminals
Illinois Senator Kimberly Lightford should repeal HB3653 which reinforces rights for criminals and those accused of crimes, and she should retract her previous calls for “defund police” after she and her husband became victims of a serious crime. The atmosphere created by HB3653 and the “defund police” movement have empowered criminals. Published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group
By Ray Hanania
A disturbing consequence of the violent and destructive protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 was the Far Left’s clarion call, including from many African Americans, to “defund Police.”
The call to “defund” Police became a war cry of their movement, and received much political support. The irony is that despite the few, highly publicized police officers who violated their responsibilities to treat citizens fairly, the majority of Police are professional and put their lives on the line everyday to defend victims of far greater violence.
The “defund Police” movement creates an environment in which Police are basically “stereotyped.” And it resulted in passage of HB3653 which re-enforces rights for criminals and eases prosecutions.
The hypocrisy of the “defund Police” movement surfaced when one of the loudest advocates of HB 3653, Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, was carjacked in Broadview last Tuesday.
Three masked criminals driving a Dodge Durango carjacked Lightford as she was driving her Black Mercedes Benz SUV in the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue, near Fillmore Street.
I always wanted a Mercedes Benz or other high-end cars but I can’t afford them. Very costly. But I never considered carjacking as an option, because I am law-abiding.
Lightford and her husband, Eric McKennie, were lucky. They survived the encounter without injury. Lightford reportedly pled with the three armed gunmen to not shoot her husband who they forced to lie down on the street as they took her purse and Benz. Friends nearby reported hearing 15 gunshots during the crime.
Lightford is truly lucky because these criminals have found it easy to kill, destroy and do so with impunity knowing that today’s environment has put the Police under public scrutiny and pressure, not the criminals.I am happy that neither she nor her husband were injured. But the event is a reminder of what criminals do and why it is so important to stand up for the police, who will investigate and hopefully capture these criminals.
I assume Lightford would like to see the criminals arrested, right? I assume the people who might arrest the criminals, and investigate the crime, are the police. But with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in charged of prosecutions, I am not sure the criminals will make it to trial, unless Foxx and Lightford are buddies. That’s what Foxx seems to hold as a priority in fighting crimes, the “Jussie Smollett” factor, it’s called.
It’s not so easy when you browbeat Police, cut their salaries and funding, and restrict their ability to do their jobs, just to pander to a voter base for an elected officials re-election.
I think life is more important that popularity or votes. And I am happy the Senator and her husband were not injured.
In today’s world, criminals “have rights,” as codified in HB3653 that Lightford aggressively fought to pass.
Maybe in her calls to defund Police and expand the rights for criminals, she means police shouldn’t try to identify her car jackers, or recover her car? Fortunately uninjured, the Senator can easily purchase a new one. Don’t defund the Insurance Lobby, that’s for sure!
To me, Police are heroes who put their lives on the line every day to protect law-abiding citizens. HB3653 empowers criminals and weakens Police.
Lightford should urge the repeal of HB3653 and call for tougher sanctions of criminals, like the ones who put her and her husband’s lives in peril.
Chairman of the Black Caucus and first Black Senate Majority leader, Lightford called HB3653 “necessary” saying it would bring “social justice” for the Black community. The changes would allow Blacks to “reach their full potential.” She said she is “tired of waiting” for change.
On Feb 11, 2021, Lightford hosted a Zoom conference in defense of HB3653, declaring, “I am a Black woman, mother and wife. And I tell you we are tired of waiting. Black and Brown families and Black and Brown communities still see barricades keeping us out of places they deserve to go. Every generation we see lives lost. People beaten. People shot. People humiliated for no reason other than the color of their skin.”
She added, “I am glad I have lived to see this change.”
Race didn’t stop her from being a victim.
Yes, there are a few bad apples, just like there are a few bad apples in every profession including in politics, government, and business. And those bad apples should be punished through a fair criminal justice system that isn’t twisted for partisan political and racial reasons.
Too many people I know, and many businesses have been the victim of the violent protestors, losing their businesses and being physically attacked.
The way to confront crime is to fund the Police even more than we do. Stand by them. Stop bullying and demonizing Police. Give them the power to target criminals, regardless of the race: Criminals should be defined as “criminals” and nothing more.
If it wasn’t for the Police, all this horrible violence would be even worse.
( Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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