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MONROE v. PAPE
September 18, 1963
JAMES MONROE ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
FRANK PAPE ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
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
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
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
"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 ...