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City of Chicago v. Kiger

SEPTEMBER 29, 1970.

CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

PETER J. KIGER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. RUDOLPH L. JANEGA, Judge, presiding. Judgments affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE LYONS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

In a trial by the court without a jury the defendant, Peter J. Kiger, was found guilty of disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic in violation, respectively, of chapter 193-1(d) and chapter 27-291 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. Judgments were entered, and the defendant was fined $500 for disorderly conduct and $200 for obstructing traffic. The trial court consolidated both charges for purposes of appeal. In this court the defendant contends that: (1) trial errors deprived him of a fair trial; (2) the judgments are contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence; and (3) the penalties are excessive.

This case involves two Municipal Code violations, quasi-criminal offenses, alleged to have been committed by the defendant near the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday, August 28, 1968, during the Democratic National Convention. The record reveals that the defendant was arrested on August 28, 1968. On that date a quasi-criminal complaint was filed charging him with disorderly conduct at 720 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, on August 28, 1968, in that:

". . . he knowingly failed to obey a lawful order of dispersal by a person known by him to be a peace officer under circumstances where three or more persons are committing acts of disorderly conduct in the immediate vicinity, which acts are likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm in violation of Chapter 193 Section 1D of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago."

This complaint was signed by the complainant, Officer Rappaport #12256.

When the case was called for trial on September 9, 1968, a second quasi-criminal complaint was filed against the defendant. This one charged him with obstructing traffic on August 28, 1968, at 800 S. Michigan in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, in that:

". . . he did willfully and unnecessarily hinder, obstruct, or delay another person in lawfully driving, walking or traveling along or upon a street or a sidewalk in violation of Chapter 27 Section 291 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago."

This complaint was signed by the complainant, Frank Rappaport.

On September 9, 1968, the parties went to trial on both quasi-criminal complaints. Officer Frank Guy Rappaport was the sole witness for the City and the defendant was the only witness for the defense. When the case was called, the defendant indicated that he wished to represent himself. A colloquy between the court and Kiger disclosed that the defendant, twenty-nine years of age and a resident of New York City, had completed graduate school and one year of medical school. He did not wish to retain private counsel. The court expressed concern at the prospect of the defendant representing himself. At the suggestion of the Assistant Corporation Counsel but over the objections of the defendant, the court appointed an assistant public defender who was present in the courtroom to assist the defendant in his defense and said to him:

"Mr. Public Defender, I want you to stand behind him anyway and if at any time you feel that some assistance should be proffered, I want you to feel free to help this man protect his rights, whether he realizes it or not."

The defendant then pleaded not guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct and, after the assistant public defender consulted with him, entered a similar plea to the charge of obstructing traffic. Thereafter, the defendant waived a jury trial.

Officer Frank Guy Rappaport, a City of Chicago policeman with three years of experience at the time of trial, testified that on August 28, 1968, at approximately 6:00 p.m., he was on duty in the vicinity of the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago and was standing in a police line, facing north, across Michigan Avenue and south of Balbo Street; that he was in the center of this police line which was placed behind a Deputy Superintendent of Police; and that to the north of the Deputy Superintendent of Police Rocheford, a large crowd of people had assembled and were blocking Michigan Avenue. Continuing, Officer Rappaport testified that Deputy Rocheford was using a loud speaker and imploring the crowd to move off the streets; that he saw the defendant at this time, approximately ten to twelve feet from him, and heard the defendant tell the crowd: "Don't go. Kill the pigs. Hell no, we won't go"; and that this confrontation continued for at least twenty minutes before Deputy Rocheford gave orders to the police to disperse the crowd.

Officer Rappaport testified that he then tried to arrest the defendant but was unable to do so at that time due to a pile up of humanity at the intersection of Michigan and Balbo. He did see the defendant moving toward a park which was located east of Michigan Avenue and directly across from the Hilton Hotel. Rappaport stated that he saw the defendant throw rocks at the police line as he moved into the park. Later, Officer Rappaport arrested the defendant for disorderly conduct. When arrested, the defendant was standing in front of a crowd in the park. In conclusion, Officer Rappaport testified that the defendant did not resist arrest until they reached the police van. The defendant then tried to pull back, but a police lieutenant assisted Rappaport and they both put the defendant in the van.

Before the defendant cross-examined Rappaport, the assistant public defender consulted with him. Thereafter, the defendant advised the court that he did not wish to conduct any cross-examination because his testimony was going to ...


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