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Grounds for CPD Stop-and-Frisk Ruled ‘‘Common-Sensical’ in Federal Court

Citing case law that demands judges take into the account all of the circumstances surrounding an arrest, US District Judge Edmond E. Chang ruled that Chicago police acted properly in 2018 when they captured Nicholas Williams after a short chase in Cabrini Green. The convicted felon fled when they approached and sought to have the pistol and crack cocaine they later found suppressed as evidence under the search-and-seizure safeguards granted by the 4th Amendment.

Chang saw it differently, ruling police were justified in conducting the Terry Stop because video from a Cambridge Street camera shows Williams clutching his side as he fled. Cops testified their intent was to interview Williams about crime in the Northside neighborhood but had a hunch from his awkward gait that he was carrying the un-holstered weapon they found on him two blocks later. While ceding police lacked the probable cause that Williams claimed as Constittional protection, Chang wrote that the man’s “nervous behavior” was sufficient for “common-sensical judgments and inferences” that permitted the stop and frisk.

The case highlights the legal complexities of community policing in Illinois and the extent of police powers under federal law. If you have been arrested, the Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Chicagoland Law Firm can help determine whether cops have violated your civil rights. Depending on the particulars of your case, you may avoid charge. To learn more, arrange a free consultation. We can’t offer legal advice until you retain us. When you do, our team of legal professionals will put their knowledge and expertise to work for you. We are your best defense.