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News Around Illinois – June 4, 2020

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State Lawmakers Call For Special Session Over Police Brutality

SPRINGFIELD – At least three Illinois House members say they want a special legislative session to strike on issues of law enforcement reform and accountability while police brutality has the nation’s focus. Representative Curt Tarver (D-Chicago) says among bills he would like to see addressed include one that would strip officers found guilty of crimes such as murder, child exploitation or criminal sexual assault of their pensions. Spokespeople for Governor J.B. Pritzker and Senate President Don Harmon said those leaders are open to a special session. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman did not return a call as of early Wednesday evening. But Pritzker has the power to call a special session. – Maureen McKinney, NPR Illinois

Illinois COVID-19 Cases Top 123,000

URBANA – The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 982 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, which brings the state’s total case count to 123,830. There were an additional 97 deaths in the last day, with total fatalities at 5,621. Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin announced Wednesday that the city’s bars and restaurants will be permitted to host live music in their outdoor seating locations, starting this Friday. Public health guidelines require maintaining a separate area for performers at least 10 feet away from patrons. – Lecia Bushak, Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Reopens Virus Testing Sites Closed Due To Unrest

CHICAGO — Ten state-run testing sites for the coronavirus reopened Wednesday after Illinois officials shut them down on Sunday in response to unrest following protests over the death of George Floyd. State officials say an 11th testing site at a vehicle emissions facility in Waukegan is relocating and will reopen on Thursday, state officials said in a statement. Illinois officials have encouraged anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested for the virus and expanded eligibility last month to people working in healthcare and at other essential jobs, along with anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed case. – Associated Press

State Police To Probe Joliet Mayor’s Scuffle With Protester

JOLIET — Illinois State Police will conduct an investigation after video posted online shows the mayor of Joliet, Illinois, forcibly grab a protester during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. The video posted on YouTube Monday shows Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, a former police officer, grab a man by his collar and forcibly walk him toward a police car. It was not clear from the video what sparked the confrontation. Seconds later, another man runs up to O’Dekirk from behind, causing all three of them to tumble to the ground as they are quickly surrounded by several police officers. Both men were taken into custody. – Associated Press

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