When Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Monday barring police officers in the state from stopping, arresting or searching anyone based solely on immigration status, his office hailed the TRUST Act as a benefit for law enforcement -- they could instead turn their attention and resources to fighting violent crime.
We checked in with several suburban police chiefs this week to see if they agree with the governor's assessment. The verdict? Mixed. While some departments embrace the new law, others are mostly indifferent to it.
"We do not want people to feel scared of calling the police," said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman, who attended Monday's bill signing. "This makes people feel safe."
Ziman said her officers do not question the immigration status of people they're called to help, or those arrested for petty and misdemeanor offenses. And they honor immigration detainer requests only when there is a warrant signed by a federal magistrate, she said.
Concerns from Aurora's Latino community -- about 42 percent of the city's population is Hispanic, according to Census figures -- have been on the rise. Some school officials even called, asking if police would remove children from classrooms.
"There has been so much fear," Ziman said.
Police initially opposed
Mundelein Public Safety Director Eric Guenther said the bill was crafted with input from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. The organization at first opposed the act, believing its initial language sent the wrong message about local police departments' willingness to work with their federal counterparts.
"It's not our intent not to cooperate with federal authorities, and the bill doesn't say we will not cooperate," he said.
"None of us wants our communities to think we're out there looking for people based on their status," Guenther added, noting nearly a third of Mundelein's population is Latino. "The community should be able to come to us for help."
Wheeling Police Chief James Dunne told us, "The reality is, nothing will change for our officers or residents."
"The Wheeling Police Department has an excellent relationship with all segments of our community," Dunne added in an email. "The TRUST Act does not change how we (interact) with our residents, our peers in law enforcement, including Federal Law Enforcement Agencies."
We're seeing some of the best in mankind as people in Texas and Louisiana are banding together to recover from the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Unfortunately, we're also about to see the worst.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud is warning well-intentioned people to be wary of who gets their disaster relief donations.
Their advice? Don't respond to unsolicited emails. Be skeptical of donation requests made by email or social media. Beware of organizations with names similar to, but not exactly the same, as reputable charities. Research an organization before giving. (We like charitynavigator.org and guidestar.org.) Do not be pressured into making contributions; reputable charities do not use such tactics. Don't provide personal information. And avoid making donations in cash.
The fraud center grew out of a task force established in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
According to the FBI, 907 people in 43 federal judicial districts across the country faced fraud charges related to Hurricane Katrina.
The show must go on
Former Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez thought when he retired in 2014, so would his charity car show.
But fans of the event refused to let go. "We had such a good turnout," he told us.
So, the 10th annual Sheriff's Charity Car and Motorcycle show will take place Saturday, at the Martin Family Farm, 2S111 Green Road, Elburn. People can register their vehicles from 9 a.m. to noon, and the show runs from noon to 3 p.m. He charges $20 per vehicle to show, and $5 per carload for spectators.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank is the beneficiary this year. Last year's show raised $8,000.
Shot suspect sues
Last June, police opened fire on Michael A. Douglas after they say he tried to run over two officers attempting to arrest him during a drug bust in Palatine. The Chicago man was hit in the leg, captured and later charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.
Douglas, 27, is now giving a very different version of events that night.
In a federal lawsuit filed against Palatine last week, Douglas alleges officers made up the accusations against him to explain his June 15, 2016, shooting. The suit claims police had no lawful reason to arrest him that night, so they conspired to falsely accuse him to cover up their wrongdoing.
The suit does not, however, offer any evidence to support those allegations. Palatine police could not be reached for comment.
Douglas remains held in the Cook County jail on $1.25 million bail while awaiting trial on charges that could land him a prison term of up to 30 years if he's found guilty. He's scheduled to appear in court on the case Oct. 12.
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