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Chicago politicians want officers to be charged with a felony if inmates don’t get 3 phone calls in first hour after arrest

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Credit: Twitter.

Forget wanting your phone call- how about three?

That’s exactly what lawmakers in Chicago’s Cook County are proposing as they push legislation to allow arrestees all three requested phone calls within one hour of detention.

The phone calls will be provided by the police, who could face a class-three felony charge of “official misconduct,” a serious offense that could end careers and even be punished with up to half a decade in prison.

The legislation was unveiled by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, County Public Defender Amy Campanelli and others, who announced it at a Tuesday press conference.

“If a person is hospitalized, among the first steps taken is to notify the emergency contact,” Preckwinkle said. “An arrest is no less disruptive to a person’s life.”

According to WBEZ, current Illinois law guarantees people the right to call a family member or attorney within a “reasonable” amount of time from when they are first taken into custody.

“This vagueness of what is reasonable should not be left to interpretation by the police,” Campanelli said.

Chicago police union spokesman Martin Prieb believes the new legislation, if passed, would make processing “extraordinarily cumbersome and the investigation of crimes even more difficult.” Going one step further than the union, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department will not comment until it reviews the legislation and has all the facts.

It is worth noting that Preckwinkle is hoping to be Chicago’s next mayor.

According to a highly informal study conducted by Campanelli’s office in 2018, only 30 percent of arrestees were offered a phone call before they were interrogated by police.

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