handcuffsSPRINGFIELD – The choking death of 43-year-old Eric Garner by NYPD officers has led police departments, cities and states to review how and why police use force. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) recently introduced a proposal to restrict police from using chokeholds.

“Every day, police officers put themselves in harm’s way maintaining order and protecting our families. This plan helps guarantee that police have clear guidelines for when and how they use force,” Silverstein said.

In addition to restricting chokeholds, the proposal limits how police use other tactics that restrict a person’s breathing. Officers would be restricted from positioning suspects so their breathing is reduced unless necessary to overcome resistance and obtain control of a person or to protect themselves or others from injury.

Police would also need to monitor an arrestee and seek medical attention if needed.

The proposed law does allow officers to perform chokeholds in cases where deadly force is justified.

Chicago aldermen introduced a similar proposal last month.

The plan, Senate Bill 65, now awaits debate in the Senate.

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ira-rabbi-inaugSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) welcomed Rabbi Moshe Francis and his wife Zelda to the Capitol on Wednesday. Rabbi Francis gave the benediction during the Illinois Senate Inauguration and the convening of the 99th General Assembly.

“Rabbi Francis is a gifted, dedicated Talmudic scholar and educator. I am honored that he accepted our invitation and gave a heartfelt benediction,” Silverstein said.

Rabbi Francis is a co-founder and Rosh Kollel of the Chicago Community Kollel, a nationally renowned educational institution. He is also a published author and community leader.

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CHICAGO – Beginning Wednesday when gunmen killed 12 people during an attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, violence in Paris continued Friday.

While police have reportedly killed the two suspects from Wednesday’s attack during a hostage crisis in a warehouse north of Paris, at least four people have died as a result of a second hostage situation.

Another gunman, believed to be connected to the Charlie Hebdo attackers, took hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Authorities ended the second situation and news sources have reported that four hostages were killed, another four were seriously injured but 15 were unharmed.

State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) issued the following statement responding to the violence in Paris:

Terrorism and violence of any kind is deplorable, appalling and wholly unacceptable in the modern world. The fact that this attack was religiously motivated only heightens is awfulness.

An appreciation for the freedom of speech and religious diversity needs to thrive in order to counter this violence and bring peace.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and the people of Paris.

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The Illinois Senate approved a plan Thursday creating a special election that would let voters select a comptroller to finish the term Judy Baar Topinka would have held until 2019.

State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) voted for the special election.

“Voters deserve to have a say in long-term vacancies. This is the most reasonable and democratic way to fill a 4 year term,” Silverstein said.

After Topinka’s death, Governor Pat Quinn appointed Jerry Stermer to fill the vacancy until Topinka’s current term expires Jan. 12. Earlier this week, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced he will appoint former Unilever executive Leslie Munger once Rauner takes office.

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