Obama Arrives for Jury Duty in Chicago, Freaks Out Fellow Prospective Jurors

Prospective jurors in Chicago were left starstruck on Wednesday morning after discovering they were reporting for duty alongside a former president.

Barack Obama reported for jury service at downtown Chicago’s Daley Center at 10 a.m. with Secret Service protection in tow. He was dismissed several hours later without being selected to sit on a jury—but not before making an impression on others who showed up.

“How’s everybody doing? Nice to see you,” Obama said to fellow prospective jurors as he walked into the building. “Stay seated,” members of his Secret Service detail told people after several attempted to stand up as he entered the room.

“Thanks everybody, for serving on the jury,” the former president, who traveled to the center from his home on Chicago’s South Side, added. “Or at least being willing to. This looks like Chicago right here. I like that.”

While some fellow jury duty servers appeared shocked and starstruck by the appearance of the president, other people arrived well-prepared for his visit, bringing their copies of Obama’s books for him to sign, The Independent reported.

And the popular former president made a point of shaking the hands of the prospective jurors as they clamored for a chance to meet him, joking when he saw people had brought their books along: “Well look at this! Did you guys know I was coming?”

Other people who had turned up for jury duty took photos and footage of the scene, appearing excited to be in the presence of the politician, with one mouthing, "Oh, my god" as Obama walked past.

Obama would have been paid $17.20 per day for his service, The Chicago Tribune reported, but he was sent home without being chosen to serve on the jury.

Presidents are not exempt from being called for jury duty—as Obama demonstrated this week. He is not the first former president to be called: George W. Bush reported in Dallas in 2015 but, like Obama, was not chosen to sit on a jury.

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