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September 18, 1963


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Parsons, District Judge.

    I have before me two motions: (1) The motion of the defendants for judgment notwithstanding the verdicts; and (2) The motion of the Illinois Public Aid Commission to intervene. The facts of this case, insofar as they are pertinent to these motions, may be stated briefly as follows:

Peter Saisi was murdered on the evening of October 27, 1958. When the police arrived at the scene, Mrs. Saisi explained that two Negro men had entered her home and killed her husband. She stated that the men had escaped with a sum of money and a number of white dress shirts.

The day after the murder, the police had Mrs. Saisi report to Central Police Headquarters at 1121 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois, and examine some photographs. After having looked at a substantial number, Mrs. Saisi finally announced with reference to one of the photographs, "It looks like him". The photograph was that of James Monroe, age thirty, of 1424 South Trumbull Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Between 4:00 P.M. and 12:00 Midnight on October 28, 1958, defendant Edward Cagney, the supervising sergeant of the detectives who were assigned to the homicide section of the Chicago Police Department, received the information that earlier that day Mrs. Saisi had "tentatively identified" James Monroe as being one of her husband's slayers. Thereupon, Cagney ordered that Monroe be "picked up" and placed in a "line-up" for Mrs. Saisi to observe.

At Midnight, the defendant Frank W. Pape reported for duty at Central Police Headquarters. He was the Deputy Chief of Detectives, the number two ranking officer in the Detective Bureau. During the early portion of his tour of duty, he was informed of Cagney's order and that Mrs. Saisi had made a "tentative" identification of Monroe.

Pape arranged to have eight subordinate policemen meet with him between five and six o'clock that morning at a designated point several blocks from the Monroe home. At the specified time and place, all of the men arrived. No one had secured or attempted to secure either an arrest or a search warrant. All of them were attired in citizen's dress. Pape briefed his men on their project and designated the positions they were to take. Then, in four unmarked squad cars, they proceeded to 1424 South Trumbull Avenue.

Pape, followed by two other officers, walked to the back door of the basement apartment and rapped. In a matter of minutes, one of the Monroe children appeared at the door and turned on the kitchen light. Through the window of the door, Pape displayed his badge and asked, "Is Monroe here?" The door was opened. Pape entered inquiring, "Where is James Monroe?" The child replied, "He is in the front bedroom".

Pape led the way down the long hallway and into the dark bedroom. Turning on his flashlight, he found James and Flossie Monroe in bed. Monroe was ordered out of bed and taken into the front room. Monroe was either totally naked or clothed only with a T-Shirt. Mrs. Monroe was allowed to pull a blanket about herself as she was gotten out of the bed by one of the officers.

Monroe, handcuffed, was handed a pair of his trousers and some other clothing, which he put on, and then he was taken to Central Police Headquarters. Upon his arrival there, he was placed in the lockup.

Some time before 10:00 A.M. on October 29, 1958, Monroe was placed in a lineup. Mrs. Saisi was unable to identify him. Shortly thereafter, defendant Howard M. Pierson, a Deputy Chief of Detectives, and on that day, the Acting Chief of Detectives, upon being informed that Monroe had been "cleared", made the following notation on Monroe's arrest slip: "Okay to release at 10:00 a.m., Acting Chief of Detectives Howard M. Pierson". Before Monroe was released, however, Pierson was informed by defendants Edward Bray and John Bosquette, both of whom were officers assigned to the Robbery Detail, that the Robbery Section wanted Monroe for investigation. Pierson responded, "All right, hold the release up until the Robbery Section are through with their investigation and the Commander of the Robbery Unit or the other Deputy Chief of Detectives [referring either to Frank Pape, or more probably to one James P. Hurley, who was the Acting Chief of Detectives on the 4:00 P.M. to 12:00 Midnight shift] can either book or release him — whatever should be done."

Thus, Monroe remained in the lockup while Bray and Bosquette arranged for robbery victims to appear at an afternoon line-up. There had been a serious plague of robberies of cab drivers. None of the witnesses, however, was able to identify Monroe. Eventually, when Deputy Commander James P. Hurley reported for work and found a James Monroe still locked up without a charge against him, Monroe, at 4:30 P.M., was released and driven to his home by Officer Bosquette.

Shortly after this episode had transpired, Mrs. Saisi confessed to her personal involvement in a premeditated murder of her husband.

These were the facts presented to the jury.

James Monroe, his wife, Flossie, and each of their several children, instituted this civil rights action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 1331 and 1343, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, against all of the police officers involved in this incident. In the course of the trial of the case, certain of the officers were dismissed as parties defendant and the case went to the jury as to the defendants Frank Pape, Edward Cagney, Howard Pierson, John Bosquette and Edward Bray.

After approximately thirteen hours of deliberation, the jurors returned their verdicts. While they found in favor of James and Flossie Monroe in the sum of $13,000, they held against each of the children.

The defendants thereupon filed a post-trial motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdicts or in the alternative, for a new trial. The primary ground upon which this motion is based is that the instructions read to the jury were prejudicial. It is the defendants' contention that this Court was bound to instruct the jury simply by reading to them the pertinent statutes and case decisions without any degree of interpolation and explanation, but that the Court engaged in extended interpretation of the law. The disputed instructions follow:

    "The phrase `under color of law' means in this
  case by virtue of authority vested by the Laws of
  the State of Illinois.*fn1
    "Defendants in this case have admitted that in
  all of the acts complained of herein they, and
  each of them, acted under color of law ...

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