Johnson & Bell, Ltd. attorney Alexandria L. Bell, received a not guilty verdict in the defense of her clients, two Chicago Police Officers, in a case involving allegations of false arrest and unlawful search.
On March 2, 2007 the defendant Officers responded to “a person with a gun” call on the south-west side of Chicago. Upon arrival, the Officers discovered a medicine container containing two baggies of suspected cocaine. The defendants arrested the plaintiff and charged her with possession of a controlled substance. The plaintiff denied the medicine container recovered at the location of her arrest belonged to her and was eventually released from the custody of Cook County Department of Corrections after her case was dismissed. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a Section 1983 action against the City of Chicago and the arresting Officers, alleging false arrest and unlawful search.
The defense contended that one of the Officers had observed the plaintiff drop an orange medicine container to the ground. While that Officer detained the plaintiff, his partner recovered the medicine container, which contained two baggies of suspect cocaine. These observations and the items recovered provided the Officers with probable cause to arrest the plaintiff, which nullified both her claim for false arrest and her claim for unlawful search. The plaintiff was charged with possession of a controlled substance.