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In the wake of several instances of police raids targeting the wrong address, destroying property and terrifying residents and their young children, State Senator Jacqueline Collins led an effort to enact stricter police training standards which passed the Illinois Senate.

“This is about what we accept when we give police the authority to use force,” Collins said. “These incidents are not merely careless or erroneous: They are civil rights violations. We cannot tolerate the careless use of force.”
House Bill 51 creates the Peter Mendez Act, which directs police training schools to include instruction on ensuring the physical safety and well-being of a child of an arrested parent or immediate family member while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the arrest and safety of officers, suspects, and other involved individuals. Instruction must also include cover de-escalation tactics and inquiring whether a child will require supervision and care arrangements.

Peter Mendez was nine years old in 2017 when Chicago police, acting on inaccurate warrant information, raided his family’s home in error and pointed weapons at him. Key body camera footage of some parts of the incident was missing, per news reports.

The bill passed the Senate mere hours after a CBS 2 News report detailing an entirely separate incident in which Chicago police raided the wrong house, brandishing rifles and handcuffing an 8-year-old boy.

“News reports have revealed this is a consistent and ongoing civil rights issue in Chicago,” Collins said. “I urge my colleagues in the House to raise their voices for responsible, accountable policing and vote Yes for the final approval of House Bill 51.”

House Bill 51 awaits a concurrence vote in the Illinois House.

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