complaint captions offered in support, are their general and conclusory nature. Sledd's inclusion of OPS statistics on the number of complaints and the percent found to have merit are meaningless because Sledd has failed to identify specific factual patterns in the complaints that are relevant to the alleged deprivation of his rights. Id. at 768-69.
Sledd offers no specific factual allegations showing a pattern of misconduct by any of the four individual defendants. Sergeant Lindsay is the only defendant Sledd specifically identifies as having engaged in misconduct prior to the raid on Sledd's mother's home. Sledd alleges that Lindsay "unjustifiably caused the death of Thomas McBride" in 1988, but does not offer any facts at all to support that conclusory allegation. Lindsay is also alleged to have had a "drug habit" for which he was eventually removed from the police force. Sledd offers no facts showing a causal connection between Lindsay's alleged drug problem and the alleged violations of Sledd's rights. Sledd has also failed to offer facts showing that a City policymaker knew or should have known of Lindsay's drug problem prior to the execution of the search warrant issued by a state judge on Sledd's mother's home. Sledd offers a lot of conclusions and conjecture, but hardly any specific facts connecting the individual defendants' alleged violation of Sledd's rights to any City policy or custom.
Moreover, to the extent Sledd is alleging a conspiracy in the code of silence, he has failed to properly plead such a claim. To plead a § 1983 conspiracy, a plaintiff must allege facts showing a "meeting of the minds" of two or more defendants to engage in an unconstitutional action. Kunik v. Racine County, 946 F.2d 1574, 1580-1581. A conspiracy complaint is inadequate "when the facts it alleges are vague, conclusionary and include no overt acts reasonably related to the promotion of the alleged conspiracy." &Id. at 13. Sledd has provided conclusory allegations concerning the results of the alleged code of silence; the individual defendants were allegedly encouraged to commit unconstitutional acts because they knew their fellow officers would not report them or testify against them. There are no facts in the complaint, however, showing that any specific individuals agreed to follow the alleged code of silence.
Another problem with Sledd's allegations regarding the police disciplinary system is the difficulty in remedying the deficiencies they allegedly show. Assuming the truth of the allegations, what should the City's policymakers have done? Always believed the accuser in one-on-one credibility contests? Flipped a coin? Given OPS an unlimited investigation budget? Forced police officers to testify against other officers? Suspended officers facing complaints until the allegations against them are disproven? Suspended or fired officers with repeated complaints, regardless of the merits of the complaints? Sledd has not identified structural defects in the police disciplinary system with relatively simple solutions. Instead he has apparently focused on broad problems of credibility, resources and burdens of proof.
Sledd, of course, is not required to suggest remedies in order to plead a "deliberate indifference" action. But the City can hardly be held liable for its policymakers' inability to run a faultless law enforcement department in a city of almost three million citizens. Part of the problem in this regard is the broad brush with which Sledd has chosen to paint. A plaintiff must offer much more specificity in showing the problem which the municipality should have prevented or corrected.
In sum, Sledd has failed to plead facts sufficient to show a City policy or custom, or "deliberate indifference" by a City policymaker to constitutional violations, that proximately caused the alleged violations of Sledd's rights. Therefore, Count VII of the amended complaint is dismissed, the City of Chicago is dismissed as a defendant, and the official capacity allegations against the four individual defendants are dismissed, all with prejudice.
The court reserves its ruling on the City's motion to dismiss the pendent state claim against it, Count VI of the amended complaint.
For the above reasons, the City of Chicago's motion to dismiss Count VII of the amended complaint is granted. The City of Chicago and the official capacity claims against defendants Guy Lindsay, Elroy Baker, Ernest Brown and Herman Cross are dismissed with prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CHARLES R. NORGLE, Judge
United States District Court