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Lack of probable cause may result in an unlawful arrest

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2021 | Civil Rights

Chicago police may arrest an individual with probable cause or when they have reason to believe that he or she carried out an unlawful act. As reported by ABC 7 Eyewitness News, pursuit of a suspect cannot begin without probable cause that an arrest is necessary.

If evidence shows an individual engaged in or is about to engage in an unlawful act, officers may give chase or perform an arrest. They must also activate their body cameras.

Evidence must show an arrest is necessary

Before an arrest, officers must gather sufficient facts to determine if an individual has a direct connection to a wrongful action. Firing an automatic weapon, for example, may serve to provide sufficient reasonable belief that an individual may have engaged in an unlawful act.

As explained by the Encyclopedia Britannica, however, without proof supported by reliable testimony that an individual factually carried out an unlawful offense, he or she may not face conviction.

Chicago aldermen settle two misconduct cases involving unlawful arrests

As reported by WTTW, a Chicago resident spent 93 days incarcerated for alleged drug possession before a judge determined police did not have probable cause to arrest him. Chicago aldermen settled his lawsuit for $250,000 after he complained of an unlawful and physically violent arrest that included racial slurs.

Chicago aldermen also voted in favor of a settlement of $500,000 for an individual acquitted of a first-degree murder conviction. Arresting officers purportedly suppressed evidence showing he had no guilt. A witness also claimed that officers coerced her to identify him as the offender.

An individual who reasonably appears to pose a threat to others may face an arrest when officers arrive on scene. Without sufficient evidence connecting an individual to wrongdoing, however, an arrest and subsequent charge may prove unlawful. A legal action may hold city officials liable for police misconduct.