In a new proposed law out of Chicago, IL – Cook County lawmakers have unveiled proposed legislation that would require law enforcement officers to provide suspects with three phone calls within one hour of their arrest.Failure to do so could result in police officers being charged with a felony official misconduct offense, punishable by up to five years in prison, WBEZ reported.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said that being arrested is “disruptive to a person’s life,” and that they should quickly be provided with the opportunity to “notify [their] emergency contact,” according to WBEZ.
Under the current law, arrestees must be allowed to contact their attorney “within a reasonable time after arrival at the first place of custody,” Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli said, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
According to a survey conducted by the public defender’s office, less than 30 percent of arrestees said that they were given the opportunity to make a phone call before they were questioned by police, Campanelli said.
“The vagueness around what is reasonable should not be left to the interpretation by the police, especially when we know that their interpretation of the law, for decades, has not been reasonable at all,” Campanelli said.