Judge appears to drop gun in Cook County courthouse

CHICAGO — WGN Investigates obtained a video Tuesday that appeared to show a Cook County judge dropping a gun inside a courthouse lobby.

Judge Joseph Claps is seen in the video wearing a white shirt and sunglasses holding his jacket in his arm.

He was walking through the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue when a gun appears to drop to the ground.

The judge nonchalantly picked it up, put it in his front pocket and kept on walking.

A Cook County sheriff’s deputy who witnessed the incident notified superiors, who reviewed videotape. The sheriff’s office says Judge Claps has a concealed-carry permit but is not authorized to carry a gun at the courthouse.

He’s now been charged with possessing a weapon on a prohibited location, a misdemeanor.  The sheriff`s office says the judge was very cooperative in its investigation.

The judge was placed on non-judicial duties pending an executive committee meeting.

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