Friday 23 August 2019

Juror stunned to find he's on jury duty with Barack Obama

Presidents are not exempt from being called

Christopher Hooton

Barack Obama returned to Chicago today, not to check on the progress on his presidential library being built in the city, but to report for jury duty.

The 44th President of the United States arrived at the Daley Center but was ultimately not selected for the jury, with Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans telling reporters he had been dismissed.

Another nominee, Angel Martinez, posted a Twitter video of the arrival of the former president, who stopped to shake hands and crack jokes while flanked by security.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama departed his South Side home in the Kenwood neighborhood in a motorcade, making a 10am arrival at the downtown court, parking in a secure garage and taking a private elevator usually used by judges up to the 17th-floor jury assembly room.

“He’s gorgeous!” exclaimed court clerk Sonal Joshi, upon briefly catching a glimpse of him.

"Oh my God," Martinez mouths in the video, as another onlooker nervously says: "Hi, Mr President."

"How's everybody doing?" Obama says to the room, extending a hand. "Stay seated!

"Thanks to everybody for serving on the jury, or at least being willing to. This looks like Chicago right here, I like that!"

Prospective jurors, some of whom brought copies of Obama's books for him to sign, are paid $17.20 per day.

Obama is not the first president to be called for jury duty, George W. Bush having been beckoned in 2015 to a Dallas courthouse. He was not picked for the jury either.

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