Jenner & Block

Judge Grants Motion to Suppress Evidence and Dismisses Case Against Pro Bono Client

A firm team successfully proved that Chicago police had no reason to arrest our pro bono client on charges of carrying a gun without a concealed carry permit.  In granting the firm’s motion to suppress evidence, Judge Steven Watkins stated that the stop and arrest of the firm’s client were improper.

At issue was the gun that the client was carrying when police stopped him as he walked home in his Chicago neighborhood.  The client legally purchased the gun, and he had a valid Firearm Owners Identification card, but he did not yet have a conceal carry permit.  The arresting officers claimed that the client was looking into a window of a commercial business, and once stopped, one officer claimed he saw a “bulge” protruding from the client’s waistband, giving him probable cause to search.

However, the team developed a creative defense strategy for the evidentiary hearing in Cook County Criminal Court. The client was put on the stand wearing exactly the same hooded sweatshirt and winter jacket he was wearing the night of the search. The team put a replica gun in the client’s waistband, illustrating that the officer could not have seen any “bulge.”  The client and the officers were also questioned about the client looking into the window.  The judge found the stop, and therefore the arrest, to be improper.

The firm team included Partners Andrew F. Merrick and Sarah F. Weiss and Associate Miriam J. Wayne.

TAGS: Litigation

PEOPLE: Andrew F. Merrick, Sarah F. Weiss, Miriam J. Wayne

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