An email from a TTAG reader who experienced a DGU at a Windy City train station has generated a lot of traffic and discussion. Here’s a comment from a Chi-town cop:
“I’m glad that you were not harmed during your encounter on that “L” platform. Yes, CTA does have some very, very good video surveillance on their platforms, buses. Sad part is that if those 3 mutts had called the Police, we would have to check it (and you if still on the scene ) out. Don’t believe the BS that having a firearm in a fanny pack is having it in a container (such as in a vehicle). Also if there are any rounds in that gun, magazine, chambered or any combo of both, that gun is loaded. Being a 26 yr. Chicago Police Officer, currently a Detective, I’ve investigated, responded to more homicides, shootings, robberies than I could ever count. Although I am sympathetic to you (and other law abiding citizens) as to carrying concealed, I would have no option not to arrest . . .
First off instead of just thinking “concealed” think “covertly concealed.” The gun may be really hard to get at, but it may keep you out of jail for that one time someone spots it on you. Another thing, if you have to pull that gun, keep it at your side , barrel pointed down, until the last instant that you may have to shoot. If you did this in your encounter, this would lend credence to your version .vs their version that “he pointed that gun at me.”
As far as being arrested with a gun. You do have the right to remain silent, but remember that only leaves me with one version of what went on. Your version will come out during your felony trial. Once arrested, I would interview all parties involved, then contact the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Felony Review Unit. They will ultimately make the decision of to charge you criminally with a felony (having only one side of a story presented, they will).
Next roll of the dice is what judge you will get at a bond hearing (you will sit in Cook Co. Jail until then). He may give you a $5000 or $500,000 bond, which you will have to come up with 10% cash to get out of County, or sit until your trial, which can be over a year down the road. If convicted, even though you may only get probation, you are now a felon. The FF job is gone. Believe me if I responded to your incident , and found out you were a FF on his way to work, I would do everything in my power (which I will not get into on a public blog) to keep you from an arrest.
But realize that some of these options may jeopardize my and my partner’s jobs. If you keep in your head that the ONLY time that gun comes out is when you HAVE to shoot, you may be fine. Not pulling it when you are apprehensive or scared. Again, your freedom and job will depend on #1 who the Police are that show up on the scene #2 Detectives investigating your incident #3 which Cook Co Asst. State’s Attny answers the phone #4 what judge is sitting on the bench the day of your bond hearing #5 what judge and / or jury is in that courtroom for your trial.
The gun laws are what they are in this State and I don’t see them being voluntarily changed anytime soon. Just be smart, only do what you have to to defend yourself, and don’t do something “to prove a point.” Believe me, myself and many other coppers are on your side, but can only do what the law allows us to.”