SAFE-T Act: Illinois sheriff says citizens will use force where police can’t

SAFE-T Act: Illinois sheriff warns prosecutors not to be ‘overzealous’ targeting victims stopping criminals

Illinois Police and state’s attorneys shouldn’t be “overzealous” when prosecuting victims who use force to defend themselves after the state’s criminal justice reform law goes into effect, a sheriff told Fox News.

“I think you will see instances where civilians take matters into their own hands and use hopefully what’s an appropriate level of force to get the people to stop committing the crime that they’re doing,” Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard said.

WATCH AN ILLINOIS SHERIFF’S REACTION TO SAFE-T ACT:

WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE

“It’s important for the law enforcement who doesn’t want this act, state’s attorneys who don’t want this act, they need to … not be overzealous on prosecuting these victims when they do use lawful force, when the system has failed them,” Bullard continued.

Illinois’ Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act will make significant changes to the state’s criminal justice reform system. Provisions include ending cash bail; limiting how judges determine whether defendants are flight risks; and allows defendants under electronic monitoring to leave home for 48 hours before they can be charged with escape.

SEE WHERE ILLINOIS RESIDENTS STAND ON SAFE-T ACT:

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“A vast majority of Southern and Central Illinois, and even Northwest Illinois counties have been completely opposed to this,” Bullard said. “It really only had Cook County in mind.”

All but one of the 102 state attorneys oppose the law as it stands, and more than half of those prosecutors have filed lawsuits since Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation into law last year.

AMERICA’S ‘MOST DANGEROUS’ LAW? ILLINOIS CANDIDATE WARNS OF ‘ANARCHY’ AFTER CRIMINAL JUSTICE OVERHAUL

Critics of the SAFE-T Act take issue with some of its provisions, including eliminating cash bail.
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service)

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Bullard added that if Cook County wanted this reform in their county, “then by all means go ahead.”

“But the rest of us don’t want it,” he said. “We got plenty of bed space for people who want to act like knuckleheads at two in the morning.”

To watch Bullard’s full interview about the SAFE-T Act, click here.

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