www.illinois.gov

Pat Quinn, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Government
 Business
 Employment
 Education
 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 Travel & Recreation
 About Illinois
 Illinois.gov

Stay Informed

Your Government


Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General


 IGNN: Main State Page Press Release

ILLINOIS NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2013

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Crack Down on Violent Flash Mobs
New Law Will Toughen Penalties for Individuals Who Use Social Media or Electronic Communication to Organize a Violent Flash Mob

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed an innovative new law that will crack down on individuals who use electronic communication or social media to organize a violent flash mob. The legislation is designed to respond to a recent uptick in such crimes which have taken place in downtown Chicago. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of all people in every community across Illinois.

“Violent mob action, organized by social media or cell phone, is a troubling trend in cities and we must do everything possible to stop it in its tracks,” Governor Quinn said. “Nobody should have to worry about a violent mob attack when going about their daily lives. This new law will crack down on these flash mobs and help improve public safety and the quality of life in our cities.”

Sponsored by State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago), Senate Bill 1005 allows a judge to hand down an extended prison sentence to anyone convicted of mob action who used social media or text messaging to organize it. This legislation is in response to a growing trend of large groups using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to organize flash mobs to commit crimes.

Current Illinois law allows judges to impose a one- to three-year prison sentence for those convicted of using social media or electronic communication to organize or solicit a violent flash mob. The new law, which passed the General Assembly with near unanimous support, will increase the penalty to three to six years in prison.

“Not only on Michigan Avenue, but throughout the city, criminal flash mobs have the capacity to discourage tourism and economic activity,” State Sen. Raoul said. “This new law sends a signal that we’re serious about creating a safe, welcoming environment, both for our residents and our guests.”

“This is not only about the crimes taking place downtown, but also about what’s taking place in neighborhoods throughout the city every single day,” State Rep. Mitchell said. “In the city of Chicago, gangs have changed. They are now using social networks to organize and mobilize violent activity. The intent of this legislation is to update our laws to reflect how people are using technology to organize crimes in our neighborhoods. If criminals incite others to commit violent acts, then they will be held more accountable.”

The new law takes effect immediately.



RAW TAPEGovernor signs bill cracking down on violent flash mobs. Audio includes Governor Pat Quinn, Sen. Kwame Raoul, Rep. Christian Mitchell, Greater North Micigan Avenue Association President John Chicow and Illinois Retail Merchants Assoc. VP Tanya Triche.

RAW TAPEQ & A w/Governor Pat Quinn.


###

News Categories

 State/All
 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Agriculture
 Budget/Fiscal
 Business
 Children/Families
 Culture
 Disabilities
 Economic Development
 Education
 Environment
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 History
 Infrastructure
 Opportunity Returns
 Recovery
 Safety/Security
 Technology
 Tourism/Recreation
 Transportation
 Workforce/Jobs

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement

Features

Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2014 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us