COVID-19: Police Play Politics With Public Health Crisis

Police departments from all over the state of Illinois have sent a letter to Gov. JB Pritzker questioning why the governor has reduced the sentences of violent criminals and convicted murderers.

In a letter sent on Friday, the Illinois Coalition for Public Safety (COPS), said, “Our job is is very difficult and dangerous under ‘normal’ circumstances. The level of risk has been increased exponentially as a result of the current pandemic.

Unfortunately, officers now also fear that violent convicted felons are being released back into the communities we have sworn to protect and serve.”

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois prisons, Pritzker has granted clemency to more than 1,000 prisoners, including Brian Harringon, who was convicted of killing a man in Rockford when he was 14, in 2007.

The Chicago Sun Times says seven or more convicted murderers have received reduced sentences.

Representative John Cabello said the governor was undermining the criminal justice system in “an unbelievable attempt to protect these prisoners from the coronavirus.” Cabello released the names of 13 recently released prisoners last week.


State Representative John Cabello Plays Politics With Lives

Illinois Department of Corrections officials confirmed the release of some inmates on a list released by State Rep. John Cabello.

However, officials said the list included people who were released for reasons unrelated to the governor’s executive order and the transmission of COVID-19.

The spreadsheet, titled “COVID FINAL list of early exits” listed the names of 761 inmates.

The charges included murder, forcible sexual assault, armed robbery, making heroin, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated vehicular hijacking of a handicapped person and other violent crimes.

Several of the people, including those convicted of murder, were directly commuted by Pritzker, according to the document.