JonesFloorShot4“We have to send the message that such disrespectful and dangerous behavior, especially during periods of mourning, has no place in our communities.” – Sen. Emil Jones III

SPRINGFIELD – A topic that has captured Illinois media and the General Assembly’s attention is that of reckless driving during gang funerals.

To respond to the issue, State Sen. Emil Jones (D-Chicago) joined forces with Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) on legislation providing for action to be taken against reckless driving during gang members’ funerals that is now on its’ way to the governor’s desk.

“Throughout my legislative career, I have consistently advocated for gang and violence prevention, a problem rampant across Chicago but particularly prevalent in the South Side communities I represent,” Jones said. “This measure has special significance for me, because this will curb gang demonstrations and the disruption of peace during funeral observances.”

Last September, the Chicago Tribune offered a telling exposé of this issue, detailing the irresponsible weaving in and out of traffic lanes, blaring music and gang signs/gestures thrown out of car windows accompanying memorials at Mount Hope Cemetery (which often serves as the site of funerals for deceased gang members).

Residents of the South Side communities of Mount Greenwood and Beverly have been particularly vocal in expressing their concern for public safety and frustration with these frequent rowdy memorials for late gang members. 

Senate Bill 2154 allows municipalities to adopt procedures and regulations for the impoundment of vehicles driven recklessly while part of a funeral procession and/or in such a way that impedes a funeral procession.

“Being able to not just provide a ticket but tow the vehicles of mourners driving irresponsibly while promoting gang activity or paraphernalia during funerals is of the utmost importance for our public’s safety,” Jones said. “We have to send the message that such disrespectful and dangerous behavior, especially during periods of mourning, has no place in our communities.”

SB 2154 passed the Illinois House and, now having received the approval of both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, moves to Gov. Pat Quinn for consideration.

Category: News Releases
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