FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2015
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB TRIAL ATTORNEY GETS DEFENSE VERDICT FOR CITY OF CHICAGO POLICE
Civil Litigation – Municipalities and Public Officials
CHICAGO – Anthony L. Schumann, a partner at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., obtained a defense verdict on behalf of three police officers for the City of Chicago against two plaintiffs on all constitutional claims alleging unreasonable seizure and excessive force. The case was tried before an eight person jury in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division and lasted five days.
One of the plaintiffs alleged that two tactical officers lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop after the officers received a radio message of a recent shooting that also communicated the alleged shooter’s name and address. The tactical officers observed the plaintiff exiting from an alley gangway of the address and enter into a vehicle. When the officers approached the plaintiff to question him about the shooting, he became resistive and combative. Plaintiff alleged that the officers did not identify themselves as police officers and because they were not wearing uniforms, he thought he was being robbed. Subsequent to the plaintiff being handcuffed to the steering wheel, his girlfriend – the other plaintiff – approached one of the officers and pushed him. She admitted to pushing the officer, but claimed she also did not realize he was a police officer. The tactical officers testified that in response to her approaching him a second time, he struck her in the face with an open hand.
After the girlfriend was handcuffed and arrested for aggravated battery to a police officer, an uniformed patrol officer and third defendant, had a conversation with the two tactical officers about the other plaintiff being un-handcuffed from the steering wheel, being re-handcuffed behind his back, and taken into custody for aggravated battery to a police officer. The officers explained to the plaintiff that if he attempted to flee, or if he became resistive or combative, a Taser would be deployed. The plaintiff was then un-handcuffed. Upon exiting the car, he admitted running toward his girlfriend and kicking one of the tactical officer’s leg. The plaintiff also testified that he was handcuffed behind his back, his conduct was reactionary and the kick was accidental, not intentional. The defendant officers, all testified that the plaintiff was not handcuffed when he exited the car, that he continued to resist and was combative, and would not submit to being handcuffed and taken into custody. The plaintiff was subsequently tased, fell to the ground, immediately tried to get back up, and was tased a second time.
The plaintiffs were successful in obtaining a verdict in their favor for claims of malicious prosecution against the City (respondeat superior) and one of the tactical officers for his commencing or continuing a prosecution for the felony criminal offense of aggravated battery to a police officer. Defendants fully intend to file post-trial and renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, new trial on these claims. Post-trial motions are due February 2016.
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