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Judge acquitted of bringing gun into Chicago courthouse

FILE - In this July 3, 2018, file photo from a surveillance video provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office, Cook County Circuit Judge Joseph Claps, left, looks down at an object he allegedly dropped in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. Claps was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area. On Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, Claps was acquitted after a judge ruled the video did not prove the object that fell from Claps' jacket was a firearm. (Cook County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge who was caught on video apparently dropping a handgun in a Chicago courthouse has been acquitted of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area.

Will County Circuit Judge Edward Burmila ruled Tuesday that it wasn’t clear from the surveillance video that the object that fell from Cook County Judge Joseph Claps’ jacket was a firearm.

Two sheriff’s deputies testified that they saw Claps drop and then pick up a gun in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building on July 3.

Claps’ attorney argued that neither deputy examined or confiscated the object that the judge dropped.

The 70-year-old Claps has been on administrative duties since his arrest.

Burmila handled the case due to Claps’ relationship with other Cook County judges, who generally preside over Chicago cases.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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