The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID COAR, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Michael Evans ("Evans") filed this fourteen-count
amended complaint alleging various federal and state law claims
against the City of Chicago and eighteen current and former
members of the Chicago Police Department (collectively,
"Defendants"). Presently before this Court are Defendants'
motions to dismiss. For the reasons stated below, Defendants'
motions are granted in part and denied in part. I. BACKGROUND
At this stage of the proceedings, all well-pled facts are taken
as true. On January 14, 1976, a nine-year-old girl named Lisa
Cabassa disappeared while walking in her neighborhood on
Chicago's southeast side. Her body was found later that night in
an alley several miles away from where she had been last seen.
She had been raped and murdered.
At the time, Plaintiff Michael Evans was a seventeen-year-old
high school student at Bowen High School in Chicago, with no
criminal record or any prior involvement with the criminal
justice system. He lived with his parents and siblings and spent
his free time playing the clarinet. He also played baseball and
The Chicago Police Department ("CPD") investigation of the
Cabassa murder was led by Defendant DiLeonardi, a Chicago Police
Commander, and Defendant Griffith, a Chicago Police Lieutenant
and the commanding officer of the Chicago Police Area 2
Homicide/Sex Unit ("Area 2"). Defendants O'Connell, Ferry, and
McGroarty were Chicago Police Sergeants assigned to Area 2, under
the direct supervision and command of Defendants DiLeonardi and
Griffith. Defendants Katalanic, Hill, McCabe, Mosher, McKenna,
Dignan, DiGiacomo, Banahan, Nealis, Leracz, Martin, Swick, and
Ryan were duly appointed Chicago Police Detectives assigned to
Area 2, under the the direct supervision of the Defendant Chicago
According to Evans' amended complaint, rather than conduct the
necessary police work to solve the Cabassa murder, Defendants
conspired among themselves and with others to make it appear that
Evans and another man, Paul Terry, were guilty of the crime. To
this end, Evans contends that Defendants stretched and
manipulated facts and evidence to fit the "false hypothesis" that
Evans and Terry committed the murder. Defendants manufactured
"evidence" and unlawfully manipulated and coerced witnesses to falsely
implicate Evans. Specifically, the unlawful witness manipulation
included coercing false, incriminating statements from Sam
Parker, Keith Jones, Columbus Thomas, and Judith Januszewski
through threats of physical violence, actual physical violence,
improper psychological intimidation and pressure, and unduly
oppressive confinement conditions. The resulting statements were
neither true nor the product of the witnesses' free will.
Defendants coerced a false and incriminating statement from Evans
through these same means. In addition, Defendants denied Evans
access to his mother and to an attorney during his interrogation
even though Evans was a juvenile at the time.
Defendants detained witness Januszewski in the police station
until late in the night against her will. They did not release
her until her husband arrived at the station and demanded her
release. Defendants repeatedly visited Januszewski and pressured
her to change material details from her initial description of
the night of the murder, including the time she allegedly left
her workplace, so as to implicate Evans falsely. Januszewski
changed her statement and implicated Evans, whom she had known
for over a year, after more than forty days of persistent and
improper pressure by Defendants.
In addition, Evans alleges that Defendant Officers disregarded
or destroyed exculpatory evidence including police reports,
notes, and statements that should have been preserved with CPD
files, but were not. Evans contends that Defendant Officers
deliberately failed to investigate and follow up on information
that would have established the guilt of other individuals. In so
doing, Defendants unlawfully suppressed information that would
have implicated other individuals and exonerated Evans. Moreover,
Defendants created sworn police reports that contained materially
false "evidence," including statements attributed to witnesses who in fact never made those statements, and used these reports
to unlawfully detain and prosecute Evans. The Defendant Police
Officers withheld exculpatory and material evidence from Evans
and in some instances, from the prosecutors as well.
Specifically, Defendants withheld information about the existence
of exculpatory information concerning Januszewski and other
witnesses that would have tended to exonerate Plaintiff.
According to Evans, the Chicago Police Department maintained a
policy and practice of systematically suppressing exculpatory
information and material evidence by intentionally secreting
discoverable information in so-called "street files." These files
were routinely withheld from the State's Attorney's Office and
from criminal defendants, and were subsequently destroyed.
Consistent with this policy and practice, Evans contends that
Defendants concealed exculpatory evidence within the street files
which was never disclosed to his defense attorneys and since have
destroyed the files. This evidence would have exonerated Evans.
Moreoever, Evans contends that this policy and practice was
"consciously approved at the highest policy-making level for
decisions involving the police department." (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶
According to the complaint, Defendants manipulated a line-up
identification of Mr. Terry in order to imply that he was
Plaintiff's co-conspirator in the Cabassa murder. Defendants then
withheld information about the manipulated line-up identification
from Plaintiff's defense counsel.
In May and June of 1976, Evans was put on trial for the
kidnapping, rape, and murder of Lisa Cabassa. He was convicted.
Shortly therafter, the Illinois trial court learned that the
State improperly had failed to disclose to Evans' defense team
that financial assistance had been provided to Januszewski, the
key prosecution witness; the trial court accordingly granted
Evans' motion for a new trial. In April 1977, therefore, Evans was
retried for the Cabassa crime along with his new co-defendant,
Paul Terry, whom Defendants had wrongfully implicated as Evans'
co-conspirator. Evans and Terry were found guilty at this second
trial. The trial court sentenced them to terms of 200 to 400
years' imprisonment. As a result of Defendant Police Officers'
unlawful conduct, Evans alleges that he suffered emotional pain
and suffering. He was placed in the Illinois prison system where
he faced the stigma of having been convicted for raping and
murdering a child. He was shunned, and worse, by the inmate
population. Consequently, Evans asserts that he has suffered
"almost unfathomable damages." (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 42).
Shortly after Lisa Cabassa's body was discovered, swabs were
used to take DNA samples from her vagina and rectum. The rectal
swab revealed the presence of semen but DNA testing technology
was not sufficiently developed to enable investigators to
identify the person or persons responsible for its presence in
the victim. The swabs, however, were preserved. Over two decades
later, when more sophisticated DNA testing technology became
available, Evans petitioned under Illinois law to conduct DNA
testing at his own expense. In July 2002, the Illinois courts
approved his petition. Orchid Cellmark laboratory, formerly known
as Cellmark Diagnostics, tested the DNA samples and established
conclusively that neither Evans nor Terry were the source of the
semen found in the victim's body. This result was later confirmed
by a second lab, Bode Technology Group. The DNA testing results
directly contradicted the theory under which Evans and Terry had
Based on the DNA testing results, Evans and Terry filed
petitions for relief from their convictions. The State did not
oppose their petitions. On May 23, 2003, Judge Dennis J. Porter vacated Evans' conviction and released him and Terry immediately.
The Cook County State's Attorney, Richard A. Devine, proceeded to
dismiss all charges against Evans on August 22, 2003. Devine
explained his decision in a letter to the Chicago Tribune,
stating that Evans and Terry had been "wrongly incarcerated for
27 years." (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 34).
Chicago Police Department Practices and Procedures
According to the complaint, a group of Chicago Police Officers
in Area 2, including some or all of Defendant Police Officers,
"engaged in a systematic pattern of coercion, fabrication of
evidence, withholding of exculpatory information, and other
illegal tactics, the sum total of which completely corrupted the
investigative process." (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 48). Specifically,
there was an institutional desire to "solve" crimes expediently,
without regard to actual guilt or innocence, in order to enhance
individual officers' personal standing in the Department. This
desire was known to command personnel, including supervisory
Defendants in this case, who also participated in the practice.
Evans further contends that municipal policymakers exhibited
deliberate indifference to this departmental policy and practice.
As a result of the Area 2 abuses, at least thirteen criminal
defendants were wrongfully sentenced to death. Evans avers that
these widespread abuses occurred because the City failed to
implement sufficient training of its police officers and declined
to implement a legitimate oversight or disciplinary mechanism.
Instead, according to Evans, the Department's investigative and
disciplinary system was, and is, for all practical purposes,
nonexistent. (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 515-2). Evans alleges that as a
result of the investigative abuses and improper coercion,
manipulation, and physical abuse by the Defendant Police
Officers, he suffered mental anguish and emotional distress. Instant Claims
Evans brought this fourteen-count amended complaint against the
City of Chicago and the following present and former Chicago
Police Officers in their individual capacities: Commander Joseph
DiLeonardi; Lieutenant John Griffith; Sergeant Thomas Ferry;
Sergeant Richard O'Connell; Sergeant Patrick McGroaty; Detective
Anthony Katalanic; Detective Fred Hill; Detective John McCabe;
Detective William Mosher; Detective Thomas McKenna; Detective
Peter Dignan; Detective Joseph DiGiacomo; Detective Dennis
Banahan; Detective Paul Nealis; Detective Edward Leracz;
Detective Roy Martin; Detective Daniel Swick; and Detective John
Ryan. Counts I-V and VII-IX are brought pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Count I alleges Defendants withheld exculpatory evidence,
fabricated inculpatory evidence, and misdirected and misled the
criminal prosecutors, resulting in Plaintiff's unjust criminal
conviction. Evans alleges that the Defendant Police Officers'
misconduct denied him his constitutional right to a fair trial
and a fair appeal, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In
addition, Evans contends that this misconduct was intentionally
undertaken pursuant to the policy and practice of the Chicago
Police Department with willful indifference to his constitutional
rights, and was objectively unreasonable. In Count II, Evans
asserts that all of the Defendants, while acting individually,
jointly, and in conspiracy, under color of law and within the
scope of their employment, caused Plaintiff to be falsely
imprisoned in violation of his constitutional rights. Count III
alleges that one or more of the Defendants used unjustified
violence against Evans to coerce him to confess to a crime he did
not commit. In Count IV, Evans avers that Defendants denied him
his right to counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution. Count V alleges that Defendants denied Evans equal protection of the law in violation
of his constitutional rights. Specifically, Defendants actively
participated in or personally caused misconduct in terms of
abusing minority criminal suspects to coerce confessions and
obtain unjust convictions. Evans contends that this misconduct
was "motivated by racial animus and constituted purposeful
discrimination." In addition, it affected minorities in a
"grossly disproportionate manner vis-a-vis similarly-situated
Caucasian individuals." (Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 78). In Count VII,
Evans asserts that Defendants agreed among themselves to frame
him for the Cabassa murder, thereby depriving him of his
constitutional rights. Specifically, before and after Evans'
convictions, each of the Defendants further conspired to deprive
Plaintiff of exculpatory materials to which he was lawfully
entitled and which would have led to his more timely exoneration.
As a result, Evans' rights were violated and he suffered
financial damages and severe ...