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Rernard Greenlaw, Tamaya Greenlaw, and v. the City of Chicago

August 2, 2011

RERNARD GREENLAW, TAMAYA GREENLAW, AND TEVIN GREENLAW, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE CITY OF CHICAGO,
JODY WEIS, PATRICK FAHEY, CRAIG BROWNFIELD, AND SHANE JONES, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge George M. Marovich

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Rernard Greenlaw ("Greenlaw") on his own behalf and on behalf of his two minor children, Tanaya Greenlaw ("Tanaya") and Tevin Greenlaw ("Tevin"), filed a complaint against defendants the City of Chicago, Police Superintendent Jody Weis and Police Officers Patrick Fahey ("Fahey"), Craig Brownfield ("Brownfield") and Shane Jones ("Jones") for claims arising out of an incident on June 22, 2008. Defendants City of Chicago, Fahey, Brownfield and Jones move for summary judgment on plaintiff's claims.*fn1 For reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion for summary judgment.

I. Background

Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed.*fn2

On the evening of June 22, 2008, defendant officers Brownfield, Fahey and Jones were in the vicinity of 2337 E. 85th Street (where plaintiff Greenlaw lived) in Chicago, because they were responding to a gunshot.

In an alley near 2337 E. 85th, defendants encountered Shapell Terrell ("Terrell"), who held a handgun in his right hand. (Terrell was Greenlaw's cousin.) Terrell fled from the police officers and refused orders to stop and drop his gun. When Terrell turned and pointed his gun at Brownfield, Fahey and Jones, they discharged their service weapons at Terrell. Terrell fell to the floor in the vestibule of the 2337 E. 85th Street building.

As the gunshots rang out, plaintiff Greenlaw was upstairs in his apartment. Greenlaw heard the shots and, because he was concerned about the safety of his children, ran down the stairs. Within ten seconds after defendants fired their shots, Greenlaw had reached the vestibule. After the shots were fired, according to Greenlaw, there were "lots of people outside screaming and yelling."

When he reached the vestibule, Greenlaw pushed on the door, but the door was blocked by Terrell's body. Greenlaw pushed the door further (and with the door, the body) in order to enter the vestibule. On the ground in the vestibule, Greenlaw saw his cousin's unmoving body and two revolvers. Greenlaw also saw the three defendants (who had, seconds before, discharged their weapons) pointing their guns toward the vestibule. Outside, the officers observed Greenlaw looking toward the guns on the floor and then looking toward the officers.

What happened next is disputed. According to Greenlaw, the officers ordered him to drop to the floor, and he complied. Then, an officer (who Greenlaw cannot identify), grabbed him by the belt and neck and carried him outside. Once he was outside, another officer pushed Greenlaw to the ground and, at some point, put a knee in his back. According to defendants, Greenlaw refused their order to leave the vestibule, so Officer Fahey entered the vestibule and removed Greenlaw. Once outside, Officer Fahey handed Greenlaw to Officer Jones, who ordered Greenlaw to get on the ground. Greenlaw complied.

The parties agree that Greenlaw did not have a weapon and did not attempt to flee. They also agree that once Greenlaw was on the ground, he was restrained with plastic straps on his wrists.

A moment later, members of the Chicago Police Department's Targeted Response Unit arrived. Officer Jones turned Greenlaw over to the Targeted Response unit. That was the end of Brownfield's, Fahey's and Jones's interaction with Greenlaw.

It was not, however, the end of Greenlaw's interaction with the Chicago Police Department. Greenlaw was hoisted up and walked to a nearby police car. Once Greenlaw was in the police car, he saw his children standing in a crowd. The officer who put Greenlaw in the police car pointed his gun at the crowd and told them to get back. Greenlaw sat in the back of the police car for approximately one hour.

After an hour in the back of a police car, Greenlaw was driven to Area 2 Headquarters. There, he was handcuffed to a wall. At some point while he was detained, Greenlaw was moved down the hall while shackled in handcuffs. Greenlaw was kept at Area 2 Headquarters until he answered questions posed to him by the Independent Police Review Authority about the ...


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