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Illinois state senator who championed criminal justice reform gets carjacked in Chicago suburb

An Illinois state senator who championed criminal justice overhaul was carjacked at gunpoint on Tuesday. She called the police, whom she later thanked for their "quick and thorough response."

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An Illinois state senator who championed criminal justice overhaul was carjacked at gunpoint on Tuesday. She called the police, whom she later thanked for their "quick and thorough response."

Kimberly Lightford, Illinois’s Senate Majority Leader, who advocated for the state’s criminal justice reform legislation in January, was carjacked at gunpoint in Broadview Tuesday night. According to authorities, Lightford's husband was not injured after one of the carjackers fired multiple gunshots at him.

According to a statement from the village’s chief of police, three masked men exited a Dodge Durango and carjacked Lightford’s Mercedes Benz SUV at gunpoint while her husband, Eric McKennie, was driving on the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue at approximately 9:45 pm.

Lightford's husband Eric McKennie was driving their Mercedes when they were struck by carjackers. Police did not say if either Lightford or her husband fired back at the criminals.

Fox 32 obtained video footage of the suspects fleeing the scene via a security camera. A witness said he heard "about 15 gun shots." The reporter for Fox News said it was "ironic" that a Christmas parade had only recently finished on the same street where Lightford was carjacked.

In a statement Lightford said she was "…thankful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed. I am trying to process the trauma of what happened," and thanked the Broadview Police Department for their "…quick and thorough response."

In January, Lightford helped to lead the charge to pass the state’s overhaul of criminal justice-related laws. She passed a law decriminalizing absences of less than 48 hours by people who are ordered to stay on pre-trial electronic monitoring, and passed legislation to eliminate cash bail in January 2023.

Another major sponsor of the legislation, Senator Elgie Sims of Chicago had another driver allegedly point a handgun at him earlier this year as they drove in Springfield. The offender later got out of jail by posting a bail of $1,500 – angering Sims.

According to court documents Hoyle was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm with a revoked Firearm Owner’s ID card, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

"By him being released on bail, he’s free to do this again," Sen. Elgie Sims of Chicago told the State-Journal Register in March. Sims referred to the incident a "perfect example of how cash bail doesn’t make people more safe."

Sims told a local outlet in March, "The trauma does not just extend to me. My wife has not slept a full night since this happened. Those traumas are real."

His remarks appeared to contradict a statement he made just a month earlier on Twitter, when he claimed "money bond doesn’t guarantee public safety or someone’s appearance in court, it supports a system where freedom is based on the size of someone’s bank account. We’ve tried the failed tough on crime polices [sic] of the past."

It's unclear if Sims wanted the offender to be detained indefinitely for his alleged actions and denied the ability to support his family while accused of a non-violent crime.

This carjacking was the second of a "defund the police" advocate this week. On Wednesday afternoon, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, who represents Pennsylvania's 5th district, was carjacked and robbed at gunpoint in South Philadelphia in broad daylight.

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