Last summer, BR was driving his car on the south side of Chicago when police officers attempted to pull him over for an alleged traffic violation. The officers claimed that he attempted to flee. The reports we obtained stated that BR had thrown a white object out of the driver’s side window while driving away from the pursuing squad car. That object had landed in someone’s back yard, and had been subsequently recovered by police.We got involved in the case somewhat late. BR had been represented by the Public Defender during his Preliminary Hearing, and it had not gone well. The Public Defender had failed to ask several crucial questions, and we had to make up for this with our own investigation.
We went down to the scene and talked with several witnesses. Surprisingly, people remembered the event. One of the reasons the event was remembered is that the police were searching for over half an hour before they found the white object. (The white object of course turned out to be a Class X amount of cocaine) One of the arresting officers had testified during the Preliminary Hearing that he had recovered the white object within minutes of stopping BR’s car. We knew this wasn’t the truth.
During cross-examination at trial the officer seemed unsure of the exact details of the arrest. He stated that he was searching the area for a considerable time. He explained this by stating that he found the narcotics immediately, but continued searching “in case there was more” This was how he attempted to explain the inconsistency of their prior testimony and reports.
At any rate, the Judge found that the State had not overcome BR’s presumption of innocence. He explained that it was a close call but that Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is the standard required by law. FINDING OF NOT GUILTY