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Terry Appeal Shot Down on Burden of Proof

A suspected gang banger’s conviction on weapons charges stands after judges in the First District Appellate Court ruled that he failed to prove Chicago cops violated his Fourth Amendment rights during a 2016 arrest. Giovanni Salgado claimed that by going for the gun he had hidden beneath his shirt, Sgt. Ricky Rivera executed an unlawful pat down on the night he was stopped on the street in an area of the city’s Little Village neighborhood where rival gangs had been exchanging gunfire. Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan denied a motion to have the evidence from the search suppressed and sentenced Salgado to 25 months for possession without a license of a gun whose serial number had been defaced.

Writing for the three-member panel, Appellate Court Justice John Griffin said that Salgado’s bid to suppress failed the court’s two-part standard of review as laid out in the Illinois Supreme Court’s 2004 Pittman decision. He added the defendant’s claim did not run counter to the preponderance of the evidence, which included body-camera video of the encounter that was played at trial. Citing the US Supreme Court’s Terry v. Ohio decision that permits cops to execute limited searches, Griffin wrote that Salgado’s repeated attempts to elude and his presence in the area provided adequate grounds for reasonable suspicion he might be in possession of a weapon.