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Beal v. City of Chicago

March 30, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Virginia M. Kendall


Sixteen Plaintiffs ("Plaintiffs") bring this action against the City of Chicago ("the City"); Chicago Police Department ("CPD") Deputy Superintendent Phillip J. Cline, Superintendent Terry G. Hillard and Commander John R. Risley ("Command Personnel");*fn1 CPD officers Bilyj, Herrera, Lamperis, Collier and O'Connor ("Officers");*fn2 and unnamed Defendants Doe and Roe -- collectively, "Defendants." Plaintiffs seek money damages and injunctive relief for Defendants' actions related to the war protest march that occurred in Chicago on March 20, 2003. Against the CPD Command Personnel and Officers, Plaintiffs assert claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for wrongful arrest, wrongful imprisonment, violation of First Amendment rights and conspiracy; and under Illinois law for violation of the State Constitution, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and civil conspiracy. Against the City of Chicago, Plaintiffs assert a Monell policy and practice claim under § 1983 and state law claims of respondeat superior and for indemnification under 745 ILCS § 10/9-102. Against Defendants Doe and Roe, Plaintiffs assert § 1983 claims for unreasonable and punitive conditions of confinement, excessive force and assault and battery.

Each Defendant has moved for summary judgment on all claims. Because genuine issues of fact exist as to whether the marchers became violent or obstructive and whether Defendants gave Plaintiffs fair notice to disperse and an opportunity to comply, summary judgment is denied as against Plaintiffs' claims for wrongful arrest, wrongful imprisonment and a violation of First Amendment rights under § 1983 and state law. Plaintiffs' malicious prosecution claim is dismissed as to all Defendants. As to Deputy Superintendent Cline, the claim is dismissed because he committed no further improper acts beyond the allegedly unlawful arrest. As to the remainder Defendants, Plaintiffs have not identified disputed material facts from which a reasonable juror could find that they played a significant role in causing the prosecution. On Plaintiffs' civil conspiracy claim, summary judgment is granted because no reasonable juror could infer from the circumstances that Defendants reached "a meeting of the minds." As to the City of Chicago, Plaintiffs' § 1983 claim is dismissed because Plaintiffs have not identified a policy or custom that caused them an injury under Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). The state law claims of respondeat superior and for indemnification under 745 ILCS § 10/9-102 are not dismissed, however, because they do not require proof of a policy or custom for municipal liability to attach, nor must Plaintiffs sue the individual officers in order for the City to incur liability on these claims. Last, all claims against Defendants Doe and Roe are dismissed as barred by the statute of limitations.


On March 20, 2003, at approximately 5:00 p.m., a rally was held at the Federal Plaza in Chicago, Illinois. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 1.)*fn3

The rally's purpose was to protest the war in Iraq. (Id.) After the rally at Federal Plaza, the demonstrators began a march through the streets of downtown Chicago. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 2.) Plaintiffs, with the exception of Jody Gronborg and perhaps Charles Kam, participated in the march. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 3.) The demonstrators did not obtain a permit to march. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 11.)*fn4

Nevertheless, Commander Risley anticipated a march would follow the rally and conversed with march leaders regarding a possible route so that traffic and safety concerns could be addressed. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 11-12.) Commander Risley suggested that the march proceed north on Dearborn Street and the CPD arranged to shut down Dearborn traffic. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 13-14.) Instead, the marchers left the Federal Plaza in two groups -- one group marched east on Jackson Street and the other group marched east on Adams Street. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 20-23.) The two groups joined near the intersection of Michigan and Monroe, and the combined group marched east on Monroe. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 24.) Commander Risley deployed officers at several intersections in an attempt to block the marchers from reaching Lake Shore Drive. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 26.) As the march headed east on Monroe, Commander Risley spoke with his mounted commander, who controlled a group of CPD officers on horseback, and determined that the CPD could no longer hold the line preventing the crowd from proceeding to Lake Shore Drive. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 29-31.) Commander Risley then allowed the marchers onto Lake Shore Drive. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 32; Plfs' 56.1, ¶ 5.) The protestors marched up both the northbound and southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 43-44.) Police had stopped northbound traffic on Lake Shore Drive at Monroe. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 38.) The marchers filled the southbound lanes blocking traffic. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 43-44.) Superintendent Hillard gave two direct orders: first, he ordered his officers to keep the marchers in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive and, second, he ordered that the "Magnificent Mile" -- the shopping district along Michigan Avenue -- be protected from damage. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 179.)

Commander Griffin made his way to the front of the march and formed a skirmish line at Grand and Lake Shore Drive in the northbound lanes. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 47.) During this time, Commander Griffin maintained a dialogue with a self-identified leader. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 57.) Commander Griffin stated that the march could continue north on Lake Shore Drive if the marchers agreed to stay in the northbound lanes and agreed not to exit before North Avenue. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 59-64, 69-70.) When the crowd reached Oak Street, some of the marchers broke off and started heading west. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 74.) When the demonstrators reached the corner of Oak and Michigan, they came face-to-face with a skirmish line of police. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 81; Plfs' 56.1, ¶ 6.) Commander Griffin, Commander Risley, Deputy Chief Radke, Deputy Superintendent Byrne and Superintendent Cline met and decided that someone should speak with the protestors. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 82.) Commanders Griffin and Risley met with Andy Thayer and others that represented themselves to be march leaders, including the individual that Commander Griffin had spoken with on Lake Shore Drive. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 83-84.) The "march leaders" insisted that they wanted to march on Michigan Avenue. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 85, 88, 90-91.) Commanders Griffin and Risley told them that they could not march on Michigan Avenue, but that they would take them back down Lake Shore Drive to the Federal Plaza. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 87, 89.) Commanders Griffin and Risley also told the "march leaders" that if they did not go down Lake Shore Drive the marchers would need to disperse or be arrested. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 87, 89, 92.) The crowd turned around and headed east towards Lake Shore Drive. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 94; Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 7.)

According to Defendants, when the CPD got the marchers back to the Inner Drive, the mounted unit formed a skirmish line from north to south blocking Walton (the street one block south of Oak). (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 100.) Commander Griffin repeated the warning that the marchers could not go down Michigan Avenue or they would be arrested, he received no response from the crowd. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 103.) A group of the protestors unsuccessfully attempted to get through the skirmish line at Walton and head back towards Michigan Avenue. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 104.) The protestors then went south on the Inner Drive and tried to get past the skirmish lines at Delaware and Chestnut. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 105-06, 108.) Finally, some protestors went farther south and turned west towards Michigan Avenue on Pearson and Chicago, which were not covered by police. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 109-11.) Superintendent Cline ordered a skirmish line set up at Chicago and Michigan. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 116, 161.) When Commander Griffin arrived he saw the skirmish line at Chicago and Michigan. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 117.) Commander Griffin asked Commander Charles Williams to position police east of the protestors on Chicago Avenue to prevent the marchers from running out the back. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 120.)

According to Plaintiffs, Lt. Oliver and his mounted unit accompanied the demonstrators east on Oak Street to the Inner Drive. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 493.) The crowd headed south on the Inner Drive while officers prevented people from going back west down the side streets off the Inner Drive -- e.g., Walton, Delaware, Chestnut and Pearson. (Plfs. 56.1, ¶ 494-96.) When the march reached the intersection of the Inner Drive and Chicago Avenue, the police blocked off all routes which would allow the marchers to proceed farther south or to go in any direction except west on Chicago Avenue. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶¶ 8, 497.) The marchers, including Plaintiffs, proceeded west on Chicago Avenue, where they were stopped by a wall of police blocking the west end of Chicago Avenue at Michigan Avenue. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 9.) After Plaintiffs were stopped on Chicago Avenue the police formed another wall at Chicago Avenue and Mies van der Rohe Way preventing any of them from leaving. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶¶ 10, 504-05.)

Commander Griffin began ordering the arrests of marchers surrounded on Chicago Avenue between Mies van der Rohe Way and Michigan Avenue. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 119, 121.) The CPD arrested all Plaintiffs, except Jodi Gronborg, at this location. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 11.) Deputy Superintendent Cline and Chief of Patrol Maurer arrived after several minutes of arrests. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 125.) Deputy Superintendent Cline estimated that 500 arrest were made. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶ 137.) After these arrests were made, Deputy Superintendent Cline and Chief of Patrol Maurer testified that the CPD gave the other marchers surrounded on Chicago Avenue an opportunity to leave. (DPOs' 56.1, ¶¶ 137, 139).

The CPD segregated the arrestees by gender, handcuffed and searched them and took them to police stations. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 12.) The CPD took most of the males to the police station located at 727 East 111th Street, and the majority of females to the police station at 5555 West Grand Avenue. (Id.) Plaintiffs were processed and placed in holding cells. Almost all Plaintiffs were held for at least 12 hours and many for 24 hours or more. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶¶ 42, 151, 202, 227, 267, 302, 332, 352, 389, 452.) Plaintiffs allege that their requests to use a telephone were denied. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 120, 148, 305, 333-34, 422-23, 456-58.) On most of Plaintiffs' arrest reports the box is checked indicating that they "refused" the opportunity to make a telephone call. (Id.) The arrest reports of the men stated:

The above subject was arrested for Reckless Conduct in that he endangered the bodily safety of citizens by acting in such a reckless manner so as to disrupt vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic. The defendant acted with total disregard for the personal safety of motorists and pedestrians. (See, e.g., Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 153.) The arrest reports of the women stated:

The above subject along with 1000's of persons endangered the safety of others in that they blocked access to a fire station, positioned themselves in front of the water pumping station and blocked access to the emergency entrance to Northwestern Hospital and refused to leave after being ordered to do so by police. (See, e.g., Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 231.) Charges against all Plaintiffs were eventually dismissed. (Plfs.' 56.1, ¶ 13.)

Standard of Review

Summary judgment is proper when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In determining whether a genuine issue of fact exists, a court must view the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the party opposing the motion. See Bennington v. Caterpillar Inc., 275 F.3d 654, 658 (7th Cir. 2001); see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The court will "limit its analysis of the facts on summary judgment to evidence that is properly identified and supported in the parties' [Local Rule 56.1] statement." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. Of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000). Where a proposed statement of fact is supported by the record and not adequately rebutted, the court will accept that statement as true for purposes of summary judgment. See Drake v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 134 F.3d 878, 887 (7th Cir. 1998) ("Rule 56 demands something more specific than the bald assertion of the general truth of a particular matter[;] rather it requires affidavits that cite specific concrete facts establishing the existence of the truth of the matter asserted"). An adequate rebuttal requires a citation to specific support in the record, an unsubstantiated denial is not adequate. See Albiero v. City of Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 933 (7th Cir. 2001).


Defendants, as members of the Chicago Police Department, are government officials. Under the doctrine of qualified immunity, "governmental officials performing discretionary functions are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). The qualified-immunity analysis involves two steps: first, did the alleged conduct violate the Constitution or statutes of the United States and, second, were the constitutional or statutory standards clearly established at the time in question? See Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201 (2001). ...

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