Chicago Police Conduct Roadside Stops Based On Stay At Home Order

The Chicago Police announced this week that they would be conducting roadside safety checks pertaining to the “stay at home order” issued by Governor JB Pritzker. The “stay at home order” was issued due to the outbreak of the Covid – 19 virus. The “stay at home” order lasts until April 30.

I interpret this as something similar to a DUI checkpoint that police often set up to prevent drinking and driving. DUI checkpoints, which are random stops of vehicles primarily on weekend nights, have been ruled as constitutional as the public safety concern outweighs the 4th amendment search and seizure protections. It seems the Chicago Police are using the same reasoning behing this type of roadside stop as they don’t want people out on the road who don’t need to be.

The Governor’s order provided the following exceptions for essential travel outside of homes:

-Performing essential activities, governmental functions, business and operations

-Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons

-Receiving materials for distance learning, receiving meals and any other related services from an educational institution.

-Returning to a place of residence from outside of jurisdiction

-Following the direction of law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement

-Returning to a place of residence outside the state for non-resident

The announcement did not state how long these roadside checks would last or where exactly in the city they would set up. I’d imagine they would set up on busy roadways like Lakeshore Drive and/or busy exits on and off the Eisenhower and Kennedy.

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If you live in Chicago and follow the news, you are certainly aware of the recent increase in carjackings. The numbers released by various media outlets reveal that there were 960 reported carjackings in 2017 up from 663 in 2016 (a 45% increase). Through early February of this year there were already 86 reported carjackings.

As a result, Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, reported last month there they were forming a joint task force with the ATF, FBI,  Illinois State Police and federal prosecutors to help combat this recent surge in violent carjackings. The purpose pool resources and come up with a better way to hold offenders accountable for these crimes.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called this a “first step,” in cracking down on carjackings. Superintendent Johnson stated during his press conference of this matter, ““We’re not playing around. If they want to continue to go out there and take an easy path to taking someone’s vehicle, we’re going to take that path and punish them to the fullest extent of the law that we can.”

I think this a logical first step in combating these types of crimes. I’m certain that these carjackings have citizens on edge as every night on the news there is a new story on these types of crimes. Many times these violent types of thefts turn into other violent crimes. Ironically, two Chicago men who were arrested in November over a carjacking that led to a high speed chase, are being charged with federal crimes, and could see stiffer sentencing if found guilt. It’s unclear whether the charges had anything to do with the joint task force.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago trucking accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.