Chicago - Nov. 15, 2018
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The [Wednesday] Papers

"A judge who was caught on video apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse has been acquitted of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area," AP reports.

In other words, a judge who was caught on video apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse has been acquitted of apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse.

"Will County Circuit Judge Edward Burmila ruled Tuesday that it wasn't clear from the surveillance video that the object that fell from Cook County Judge Joseph Claps' jacket was a firearm."

If it wasn't a gun, what was it?

"We know full well that something can look like and appear to be a gun and not be a firearm," Claps' lawyer, Thomas Breen, said in his closing argument, according to the Sun-Times. "There are replicas out there, there are cap guns, there are water pistols, there are BB guns out there."

Those things do exist. But Claps never actually claimed that he was carrying a replica, cap gun, water pistol, or BB gun; Breen just inferred that it could have been one of those.

As Breen walked out of the Maywood court house Tuesday, a reporter asked if Claps, in fact, had dropped a replica or toy gun in the lobby, at 26th and California. Breen, smiling, reached into his pocket, apparently for a prop he decided he hadn't needed in the courtroom.

"Don't panic," he said, as he pulled out a silver, plastic toy pistol and let it fall to the sidewalk.

Cute.

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Here's the surveillance video. Note the chyron.

AP put it plainly in a previous article: "Surveillance video shows the judge retrieving the gun and putting it in his pants pocket."

Somehow I don't think Claps will sue for libel or defamation.

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Likewise, the Tribune reported on Tuesday that "cameras caught a gun falling out of his jacket in the lobby."

In July, the Tribune reported that "Security cameras captured the gun tumbling out of Claps' jacket" in an article headlined "Video Captures Gun Falling From Judge's Jacket At Courthouse."

Will Claps now demand a retraction?

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The Tribune headline on the verdict: "Judge Acquitted On Misdemeanor Gun Charge Despite Video Evidence."

"Two sheriff's deputies testified they heard a noise, turned around and saw the judge picking up a gun from the floor of the courthouse lobby. But Burmila questioned why the deputies didn't immediately seize the weapon under those circumstances.

"Both deputies testified they thought the judge was legally permitted to carry a weapon in the courthouse where he worked - the Leighton Criminal Court Building, the county's main criminal courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue."

It turned out Claps has a concealed carry permit, but is still not permitted to carry in the courthouse.

"Claps, 70, has been a judge for more than two decades, including the last 15 years with the Circuit Court's criminal division. He previously worked as the top assistant to the Illinois attorney general and as a Cook County prosecutor."

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I mean, I know it was just a misdemeanor charge, but my understanding is that guns dropped onto hard floors sometimes go off. And guns that sometimes go off sometimes kill people. That's just my understanding.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Three Stooges Slay St. Charles
"Far superior to three lamebrained chowderheads getting up there thinking they can do Three Stooges impressions, this cast delivered," our very own Tom Chambers writes.

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Horseface Ho-Hum
Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter, is not even annoyed. It's worse than that. He's accustomed.

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ChicagoReddit

Commuting on CTA for first time in 8 years: what are your tactics for making your commute more cozy? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Aztec Dance Chicago.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Sky blue waters.



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Posted on October 24, 2018


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