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YouTube Suspends Cook County Court Livestream for ‘Unspecified Violations’ | Chicago News

Empty jury box area readied for members of the jury in the courtroom of Judge Vincent Gaughan at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

The official YouTube page of Cook County’s chief judge — which livestreams numerous court proceedings each day — has been disabled due to “unspecified violations” of YouTube community guidelines.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ office on Friday announced it’s appealing a decision by YouTube to suspend multiple accounts that regularly broadcast bond and other court hearings to the public.

“The (office) is not aware of any particular instance that would have precipitated the action, but understands that court proceedings are sometimes graphic in nature and not suitable for all audiences,” Evans’ office said in a statement.

When attempting to access any of the specific courtrooms, users will now find live videos replaced with the following message from YouTube: “This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations.”

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The chief judge began livestreaming court proceedings online at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when safety protocols prevented large numbers of people from gathering in any single courtroom.

Evans’ office said it is expecting a response to its appeal within two business days.

Until the YouTube account is re-established, the press and public may attend Circuit Court of Cook County proceedings in person, the office said in a statement.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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