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Chief Judge Orders Cook County Courtrooms Closed After Looting

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Chicago Crusader

All cases scheduled to be heard Monday were postponed 30 days, and only courtrooms conducting bond hearings remained open.

By Jonah Meadows, Patch

Following a night of looting in downtown Chicago, Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans on Monday ordered all courtrooms in the county closed until further notice, except for bond courts.

All other cases that were scheduled to be heard Monday will be continued for 30 days, according to the judge’s office, which cited restricted access to the Loop area and limits on public transportation.

Earlier Monday Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown announced limits on access to the downtown area from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting Monday night.

More than 100 people arrested Sunday night were charged with battery against police or disorderly conduct, and 13 officers were injured, according to the police chief, who said “car caravans” of looters were encouraged by social media posts.

Lightfoot said there was misinformation circulating on social media falsely stating police shot an unarmed child. The person police shot was a 20-year-old man who fired shots at officers during a foot chase in the Englewood neighborhood, according to the mayor and police.

Bond hearings will continue in all six municipal districts, juvenile court, the domestic violence courthouse and the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.

Evans issued a statement Monday morning regarding the previous night’s civil unrest. He said judges must balance the right of the accused to be presumed innocent with any evidence that a defendant poses a present threat to the public if released.

“Subject to scheduling limitations required to comply with public health guidelines for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Evans said, “the circuit court of Cook County is prepared to promptly and fairly adjudicate all cases brought before it.”

Evans’ office announced Monday afternoon all Cook County courts are expected to reopen Tuesday.

This article originally appeared in Patch.



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