Loose Lips Lead to Long Stretch
A cop’s verbal challenge can’t be classed as a Constitutional rights violation, even if the response leads to an arrest. This according to judges in federal court, who upheld a Chicago man’s conviction on weapons charges that resulted from a hurried encounter with police in a South Side parking lot. Thanks to priors, David Holly’s affirmation that he was in possession of a firearm when asked by an approaching officer earned him more than seven years behind bars. He appealed, saying the arrest amounted to an improper seizure under the 4th Amendment.
While Holly and the cops gave differing accounts of what went down at the Atgeld Gardens Housing Complex in 2013, both agree he told them he had the gun. A previous felony conviction and the fact that Holly had much to gain from favorable case law by claiming that cops had their guns drawn were enough for the three-member panel from the the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to side with police. Despite differences in their testimony, cops on the scene said a consensual interaction occured when they ran after Holly to question him during a routine patrol in what the Chicago Police Department deems a high-crime area. Judges also rejected Holly’s claim that cops were neglegent when a closed-circuit recording of the lot was erased before trial.