Thursday, November 15, 2007

Law & Order: Amtrak

After examining the metal moose, I walked on to Union Station to go home, and near the Adams St. entrance just west of the bridge across the Chicago River, noticed a number of cops arresting a man. It was a peaceful surrender, it seems. I was close enough to see that the suspect, a black man probably in his mid-30s dressed neither expensively nor shabbily, looking fairly calm about the whole thing.

Then they took him down into the station -- down the same way I was going, so I walked behind the suspect, who was in handcuffs, and one of the cops next to him. Coming up from behind were four more cops, three men, one woman. I thought their uniforms, which were cop blue, didn't quite look right, when I noticed that they were Amtrak police -- it said so on their shoulders. The suspect was talking to the Amtrak cop next to him all the way that I walked behind them, though I couldn't hear what he was saying. It didn't look like he was saying anything along the lines of, "It wasn't me! A guy came up to me and gave me the bag!" From the look on his face, he might have been talking about the weather.

Maybe he'd been down this road before. They must have been taking him to the small police station near the main ticket agent in Union Station. From there, I don't know. Cook County Jail? A special Amtrak holding car? The dungeon under Track 13 for a little waterboarding? If that were the case, he might not have been so composed.


At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in law school, the criminal procedure professor professor said that the explanation that someone else had handed the controlled substance, stolen money or whatever to the suspect was variously called the "dude" defense or the "dropsy" defense. The former name comes from the plea that "I was just standing there and this dude gave me the bag with the gun and the stolen money in it." "Dropsy" derives from a variation in which the dude dropped the bag in front of the suspect, who had then, in all innocence, picked up to discover that it contained a gun and the stolen money. Both versions, we were told, showed a serious lack of imagination, and neither was at all likely to be given any credence by the police. ANK


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