SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved legislation that would impose tougher punishment on anyone convicted of using social media to plan or incite a mob attack.
The bill passed the Senate last month. The 102-6 House vote now sends the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn.
Lawmakers said the legislation is in response to recent incidents in Chicago in which groups of young people descended on Michigan Avenue and other locations to rob or attack people.
Police say the suspects used text messaging and social media such as Twitter to organize and publicize the attacks.
The bill would allow a judge to impose an extended sentence if someone used electronic communication in a mob action.
Rep. Christian Mitchell is a Chicago Democrat. He says the legislation will make communities throughout Illinois safer.
Since 80 additional officer were tasked to the area, there have been 27 arrests. The charges range from parole and probation violation to first degree assault. Dotson says this hot-spot technique will become normal operations for the police department.