A bill that would require police departments statewide to conduct procedural reviews of all police shootings is advancing in Springfield after passing the Senate without opposition.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul introduced the legislation on April 20 following a Better Government Association/WBEZ investigation that found that in 113 police shootings in suburban Cook County, not a single suburban officer was disciplined, re-trained or fired after pulling the trigger.

What’s more, there were almost no procedural reviews of the shootings to determine whether officers followed policies, general orders and best practices.

The measure, approved by the Senate April 26 on a 49-0 vote, requires police agencies to adopt written policies governing reviews of police shootings which would then be available for public review under the Freedom of Information Act. The bill, now awaiting action in the Illinois House, also requires all police involved shootings to be undergo those reviews.

“I have spent years working to improve relations between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” said Raoul, who is also the Democratic candidate for attorney general in the November elections. “Establishing trust is an essential part of that effort, and that is impossible to do if police aren’t held accountable for their actions.”

The BGA’s Policy team, which operates independently from the watchdog’s investigative unit, has supported Raoul’s bill.

Casey Toner, a Chicago native, has been an Illinois Answers reporter since 2016, taking the lead on numerous projects about criminal justice and politics. His series on police shootings in suburban Cook County resulted in a state law requiring procedural investigations of all police shootings in Illinois. Before he joined Illinois Answers, he wrote for the Daily Southtown and was a statewide reporter for Alabama Media Group, a consortium of Alabama newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys watching soccer and writing music.

Jared Rutecki was an investigative reporter and data coordinator at the Illinois Answers Project (previously known as the Better Government Association) from 2016 to 2023.