Chicago, IL—All people entering the Daley Center or any of Chicago's courthouses, aside from cops, employees and lawyers must submit to being searched like a criminal. The frisking is the result of a nearly four decade-old court order.
That original order was put in place by the late Presiding Criminal Division Judge Joseph A. Power. He ordered the searching after the attempted escape and shooting that killed condemned murderer Gene "Ice Man" Lewis and wounded two lawyers at 26th & California.
I've always taken personal exception to this intrusion as a direct Fourth Amendment violation since there is zero probable cause for these searches.
They make a weak but sustained argument that the searches are consensual since people can avoid entering the building altogether. Of course many people are there because of jury summonses, witness subpoenas and other compulsory reasons.
The Daley center houses lots of local governmental offices aside from a number of courtrooms.
38 year-old Jamie Busk of Evergreen Park entered the building carrying a 2 inch belt buckle knife, a tiny tool and a simple handcuff key in the belt pictured above. None of the items in themselves break laws.
Deputy Sheriff David Nowacki arrested Busk when he could have simply kept the knife for safekeeping during Busk’s Daley Center visit.
Busk was arrested, fingerprinted, photographed and released on an a personal recognizance or “I” bond requiring no cash being posted.
Is this type of arrest good public policy? Are we any safer today because of Busk’s arrest?
I know that there is always an outside chance of something going terribly wrong in courthouses but I know of none that involved the items carried by Jamie Busk.
Cook County Court Services Deputies get minimal training but have full police powers. I hope that Sheriff Tom Dart and court officials can find a way to undo this stupidity in a hurry.