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David Shields v. Officer Garcia

April 14, 2011

DAVID SHIELDS
v.
OFFICER GARCIA, ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge Blanche M. Manning Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The defendants' motion for summary judgment [59-1] is granted. The clerk is directed to enter a Rule 58 judgment and terminate this case from the court's docket.

O [ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

00:00

STATEMENT

Plaintiff David Shields has sued three Chicago police officers for false arrest, unlawful search and seizure, and medical indifference, all stemming from a traffic stop during which Shields was arrested for several drug and traffic offenses. The defendants have moved for summary judgment on all of Shields' claims. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

The parties agree on very little of what happened on May 29, 2009, when defendant officers Louis Torres and Edgar Garcia pulled over Shields while he was driving to his sister's house. The officers contend that they pulled over Shields for failing to use his turn signal, but Shields asserts that he used his signal. After pulling over Shields, officer Garcia asked Shields to produce his driver's license, which Shields contends he did, but the officers assert he did not. The parties do agree on this point, however: after officers arrested Shields for the alleged traffic violations and directed him out of his car, Shields told officers to "[g]o ahead" and search his car because he knew he "didn't have no drugs or nothing in my car." Shields Dep. (attached as Exhibit PX1 to Plaintiff's Rule 56.1(b)(3) Responses [54-1]) at 38:8-12. After the search, the officers showed Shields two white baggies containing a white rocky substance that tested positive for cocaine. Shields told the officers that the baggies must have been left behind by a passenger he had just dropped off, but the officers nevertheless added possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia to the reasons for his arrest, and impounded his car.

Officers transported Shields to the police station, where he was handcuffed to a wall for two hours. Shields told one of the officers at the station, defendant Pamela Williams, that he needed something to eat because he was diabetic, but she refused his request and "cussed him out." Plaintiff's Rule 56.1(b)(3) Responses [54-1] at 12 (Statement of Additional Fact #37).

The plaintiff remained jailed for about three-and-a-half weeks, and was eventually released after a state court judge dismissed all of the charges.

STATEMENT

On August 4, 2009, Shields attended an administrative hearing in which he contested the city's impoundment of his car. He presented his case, and had the opportunity to cross-examine officer Garcia. The hearing officer concluded that the city was entitled to impound the car under Chicago Municipal Code § 7-24-225(a), which states that: the owner of record of any motor vehicle that contains any controlled substance or cannabis . . shall be liable to the city for an administrative penalty of $1,000.00 plus any applicable towing and storage fees. Any such vehicle shall be subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this section.

Shields then initiated the instant lawsuit against officers Torres, Garcia, and Williams by filing a pro se complaint, which he later amended. According to his amended complaint, which the court construes liberally, Shields alleges the following constitutional violations under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 illegal search of his car; false arrest; illegal seizure of his car; and inattention to his medical needs during the period of his detention preceding his probable cause hearing. Shields originally also alleged a claim of racial profiling, but has abandoned it in ...


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