CHICAGO (CBS) – When Cassandra Tanner Miller’s ex-husband shot and killed their 18-month-old son and then himself, his tragedy made headlines. Since that day, she has fought to change the way law enforcement agencies and courts deal with victims of domestic violence and their abusers.
In 2019, Cassandra said she wanted to make a law that would help correct all the glaring shortcomings that led to her family’s tragedy. Now a bill with her son’s name is on its way to Governor JB Pritzker’s office.
READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: How Much Money Will You Get Each Month?
“Why did it have to be my son?” Why did it have to be Colton? And the more I take this trip, I think maybe I should be the one to do it, ”she said.
Colton Miller would be about three and a half years old today. His mother always greets him every morning and gives him a kiss every evening.
“I wake up everyday and go to bed and kiss her here. How unfair is that? Cassandra said with her son’s urn.
In September 2019, Cassandra’s ex-husband broke into her home in Joliet and brutally beat her.
“Dragging me, grabbing me by the hair, pushing me against stuff, slamming my head against the walls,” she said then.
He then went upstairs and shot and killed their little boy, Colton.
There were so many red flags missing from her revoked FOID card that was never returned, her unsupervised passage on a Link I, Cassandra’s warning to the Illinois National Guard of her violent behavior and his drug use that fell on deaf ears.
READ MORE: Bike The Drive returning to Lake Shore Drive on Labor Day weekend
“It’s a pain that takes your breath away at all times of the day,” she said. “We haven’t had anything that is a full breakdown to see where the gaps are.”
But thanks to Cassandra’s fierce advocacy over the past 18 months, it’s now going to happen with Colton’s Law and Colton’s Task Force.
“We really felt the need to sit down and talk with all the experts at the table and make sure we look at what we did. What has been proposed in other states and best practices is moving forward and it will be a report to be given to the General Assembly and to the Governor, ”said State Representative David Welter (IL -Dist. 75).
Welter sponsored the legislation that passed both the House and the Senate on May 30. He said the law creates a working group to deepen all aspects of the process, operation and enforcement of domestic violence laws, which has never happened before.
“We need to understand why this is happening, how to stop it and what treatment can we give to victims and abusers so that this cycle does not continue,” Cassandra said.
She said breaking this cycle is now her life’s mission.
“Which I wouldn’t do so that I could have him here to hear him say, ‘I’m really proud of you, mom,’ she said.
It was not the first time that lawmakers tried to pass this bill. Last year he left the committee and won unanimous support in the House, but the pandemic halted progress on this bill. They were so grateful that they finally made it.
NO MORE NEWS: Five Chicago museums will stay open late Friday to celebrate the state’s full reopening
Now Representative Welter has said the task force is expected to present a detailed report with its findings to the General Assembly sometime in 2022. Cassandra hopes to be there in person when Governor Pritzker signs the bill into Colton law. .