Friday, March 13, 2015

RAILROADED?: Arrested In January, Aldermanic Candidate Says CTA Bag Screening "Violated My Rights"

Davis
One month before earning 9% of the votes in the recent 44th ward aldermanic election, Scott M. Davis was arrested for allegedly crossing into a CTA station after refusing to submit to a random bag screening, according to court records.

Police say they tried to examine Davis' bag near the Merchandise Mart CTA turnstiles shortly before 6PM on January 22. But, Davis refused to to allow the search because "he felt the screening was a violation of his rights," police say.

After police informed Davis that attempting to board after declining the search would result in arrest, they say they cited case law that upheld the constitutionality of such searches. At that point, police say, Davis crossed through the turnstile, apparently intending to board a train.

Davis was detained and officers say they tried to resolve the matter by simply issuing a ticket, but Davis "refused to comply with the with the terms of the [citation] and said he would not sign [it]." Cops say Davis again stated that he would continue to attempt to board the train.

He was then arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass to state-supported land. Prosecutors are offering to drop the charges if "certain conditions" are met. He's due back in court on Thursday.

Davis offered no comment today as the case remains unresolved.

Chicago police began the random screening program four months ago. They say Davis is the only person to be arrested.
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15 comments:

  1. After some quick research, it looks like courts have in fact affirmed the constitutionality of similar programs in other cities (http://www.americanbar.org/publications/law_practice_today_home/law_practice_today_archive/april11/metro_bag_searches.html).

    That said, I'm much more worried about getting mugged getting off the train than I am some random Loop worker having a bomb in his briefcase. Did this program get some special funding? I would rather have more general cops. Instead of looking inside my laptop bag, why don't you look inside the bags of drug dealers on the streets? With limited resources, I'd rather focus on crimes of personal safety than abstract terrorist threats and prostitution stings.

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    1. Yup. Federal money. Everything CPD does has to do with federal money because the city cannot manage its finances properly.

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  2. Yes they can't even get the homeless and panhandlers off the trains.

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    1. Absolutely. The homeless and panhandlers are far greater of a threat than "a bomb." I figure I'm hundreds of time more likely to get injured by a wildling than catch bomb shrapnel or something.

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  3. If we all did this it wouldn't be an issue and the state police would go away. I'm sure they were not profiling by profiling.

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  4. This security theatre is a complete waste of resources. Good thing our city doesn't have any violent crime or murders so our police can spend time on completely ineffective programs like this.

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  5. About as stupid asw arresting Rentboys than patrolling Belmont & Sheffield.

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  6. A terrorist attack is not random, so how could "random screening" possibly prevent it? They make the screenings random because they can't screen everybody - unlike at airports - but it's also politically-incorrect to screen the most likely targets. So they screen to no effect and do it based on a fantasy - that all riders are equally potential terrorists. In fact, their screenings are nothing but a social/political statement that "all people are equal - and we will not discriminate". That's it. Maybe it's the absurdity itself that Davis is protesting

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  7. Wow, they caught him and the young prostitute. I knew Tunney was right when he said there is no crime problem lol.

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  8. zero deterence factor. Any fool motivated enough to secure explosives and intending to do harm would either refuse the search or if see the signs turn around and walk a few blocks to next station. A very minor inconvenience considering their effort thus far. BTW they claim their priority is deterence. What a waste of money and time when we have plenty of other real issues and i thought the city was broke? how is this wise spending?!!!

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    1. If you read the Trib article on this, there is a commenter who said that when she declined to be searched at the Merchy Mart stop, officers would not let her board through that entryway, so she walked outside and entered the same station via the outdoor entry. So you can apparently board the train at any station that has two entries.

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  9. This guy was awful. I but Tunney encouraged his run for alderman to sap votes from Mark Thomas. He deserves the arrest for running as a single-issue candidate (red light cameras) when our hood has serious crime problems. Hopefully CPD can also round up the 9% of morons who voted for this distraction.

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  10. I know one of the officers who was there. The reason this pooch was arrested was because he was an asshole and spouted off to the officers liberally lacing his tirade with profanity. FYI, the Feds provide the $$ for the bomb sniffing dogs and the officers' training.

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    1. Doesn't really matter where the money comes from -- it's still wasted dollars. And it's not the government's money -- it's taxpayers'.

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  11. It would be great if we could someone other than douches to run for Alderman.

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